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Health secretary wants NHS ‘candour’ to improve patient safety

04 | 04 | 14

By SheldonDavidsonSolicitors

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has outlined new measures designed to halve serious mistakes within the NHS.

For victims of clinical negligence, a key change is likely to be the introduction of a ‘duty of candour’ that will require hospitals and other health trusts to be more honest with patients about mistakes. This will be put into practice in October.

In theory, at least, this could make it easier to ascertain the circumstances leading up to a patient’s injury or illness and speed up the process of compensation claims.

Mr Hunt announced the plans in the wake of the Francis Inquiry, which was set up to deal with the aftermath of the scandal at Stafford Hospital. A study of its procedures between 2005 and 2009 condemned its standards after many patients were found to have died as a result of neglect or poor care.

Hospitals will be urged to put measures in place that will cut “avoidable” mistakes such as bedsores, blood clots and medication errors. Mr Hunt wants these to be in place by 2016-17, and believes they could save up to 6,000 lives over a three-year period.

Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) chief executive Peter Walsh hailed the move as “potentially the biggest advance in patients’ rights and patient safety since the creation of the NHS,” and praised Mr Hunt’s “insight and leadership”.

He also called for an end to the culture of cover-ups within the NHS and “a lack of honesty when things go wrong”.

Making your clinical negligence claim

While these measures are intended to reduce mistakes and make it easier to ascertain how and why they happened, there will always be cases where errors on the part of medical professional cause patients to suffer from avoidable illness or injury.

If this happens to you, it is important to speak to experienced clinical negligence solicitors who can help you secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

Sheldon Davidson Solicitors are Manchester's Personal Injury Specialists with expertise in settling a broad range of Personal Injury Claims, including everything from Electrocution Claims to Medical Negligence Claims, such as Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims.

We have a strong record of obtaining practical financial support and high-quality medical care for our clients. To find out more about pursuing your claim, contact our team or fill in our online claim form.