Below are links to publications and websites offering information about the NHS and medical negligence which provide further information and support to patients and families.
Action against Medical Accidents
Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) is a UK charity that provides support to patients and families who have been affected by medical negligence and poor care. As well as running a helpline for victims AvMA has campaigned for safety initiatives such as the legal duty of candour, which is due to come into force in 2014 and will force healthcare organisations to be open and honest with patients and families when mistakes have been made. www.avma.org.uk.
Ten Years of Maternity Claims
This report from the NHS Litigation Authority, the organisation which pays compensation on medical negligence claims, analyses maternity medical negligence claims from 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2010. It provides useful background to the types of claims that have and can be brought. It also contains information on the amount of compensation that was paid out on these claims for the 10 year period. In total this amounted to £3.1 billion, 70 per cent of which was for mistakes made with the baby’s heart rate monitor (CTG), the management of the labour and for mistakes that led to the baby developing cerebral palsy. You can read the Ten Years of Maternity Claims report here.
The Patients Association
The Patients Association is an organisation gathers opinions from patients and campaigns for improvements to health and social care services. Patients can call 0845 608 44 55 to speak to the Patients Association about any concerns they have, as well as access help with navigating healthcare services. www.patients-association.com.
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is a government organisation that exists to investigate complaints from individuals who have been treated unfairly by the NHS in England, government departments or other public bodies. Patients are able to ask the ombudsman to investigate their case if they have pursued an official complaint against a healthcare trust which they are dissatisfied with. Pursuing an official complaint and asking the ombudsman to investigate does not prevent a patient or family from pursuing a claim for compensation. www.ombudsman.org.uk
The Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry
After the Stafford Hospital scandal, which involved the avoidable deaths of hundreds of patients, a public inquiry as set up. A final report with 290 recommendations for NHS change to improve care and prevent another such scandal from occurring was published in February 2013, written by head of the inquiry Robert Francis QC. You can find out more about the inquiry and read the final report at http://www.midstaffspublicinquiry.com/.