AvMA launches proposals to ensure patient safety addressed in litigated cases

Published: 21 Jul 2016

AvMA has presented draft proposals to ministers designed to ensure that there is always a review of litigated cases and a ‘patient safety letter’ provided to the claimant. The letter would cover any patient safety lessons that have been learnt from the case and any measures that have been put in place as a result, as well as any lessons from the investigations conducted including whether the duty of candour had been complied with. Copies would have to be sent to commissioners of services, NHS Improvement and the CQC also.

We believe this would create an overdue discipline on NHS bodies to maximise learning rather than simply process cases. It is a sad fact that although the NHS Litigation Authority more recently has taken a keen interest in patient safety, there is little evidence that litigated cases have been proactively examined for the learning they can provide.

Our proposals have been met with a warm reception in principle. We look forward to developing the proposals further with the Department of Health, NHS Litigation Authority and any other interested parties. An outline of our proposals can be found here. Please contact us with your thoughts and suggestions.