35 years leading patient safety and justice

This year it is 35 years since AvMA was formed in response to Peter Ransley’s hard-hitting drama “Minor Complications”. At the time, it was considered shocking to suggest that doctors could make mistakes and patient safety was barely discussed. People affected by medical accidents had nowhere to turn to for specialist advice. In the 35 years since then, AvMA has succeeded in changing the agenda in healthcare and putting patient safety and access to justice at the heart of the debate.

Since 1982, we have provided free specialist advice and support to over 100,000 people affected by medical accidents, and succeeded in bringing about massive changes to the way that the legal system deals with clinical negligence and in moving patient safety higher up the agenda in the UK.

We are responsible for making clinical negligence a specialism within legal practice, and campaigned successfully for the creation of agencies such as the National Patient Safety Agency and Commission for Health Audit and Inspection (now the CQC). We were a core participant in the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry and our evidence and years of campaigning helped bring about the statutory duty of candour.

As the leading voice for patients on patient safety and justice matters, our work continues to be vitally important. Government proposals such as the safe space and fixed recoverable costs threaten the advances we have made in recent years, and despite improvements in safety and openness, there is still much more to be achieved.

Our need is great and resources are stretched to the limit with an increasing demand for our patient advice line, specialist client case work and our highly successful inquest support services. In addition, we continue to fight to preserve access to justice for victims of clinical negligence, their families and the great British public.

Here is how you can best help AvMA meet the challenges ahead:

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Need help

Contact Philip Walker Fundraising Manager on 020 8688 9555 or philipwalker@avma.org.uk