Harmed patient pathway

AvMA and the Harmed Patients Alliance jointly launched a project in February 2021 to develop a ‘Harmed Patient Pathway’ for utilisation by the NHS when there has been harm caused to patients. It is based on the concept that health providers owe a moral duty of care specifically to people who have been affected by healthcare harm, be it the patient themselves or people close to them.

People who have been affected by healthcare harm have very particular needs, and the Pathway will set out what kinds of response people should be entitled to expect in these circumstances. This is we have used the concept of a ‘pathway’ used by the NHS in specifying what is needed in certain areas of healthcare. It is a well established fact that when people are not responded to appropriately following healthcare harm it can lead to a significant ‘second harm’ .

Since launching the project we have been working with other stakeholders on an advisory group to develop the expectations which can be used by NHS bodies to analyse to what extent they can live up to the expectations, and where they are not, to devise an action plan to address the gap. A small number of NHS Trusts have been piloting this approach and providing feedback. Results so far have been very encouraging. Our ultimate aim is for the Pathway to reflected in official guidance and standards and rolled out across the NHS.

For further explanation of the project and who is involved see our leaflet.