Injured NHS patients need full and fair redress

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers called the health and social care committee’s plan for NHS litigation reform “completely unacceptable” because it would deprive vulnerable patients of full and fair compensation and then expect a woefully ill-equipped social care and benefits system to look after them (When the NHS spends billions on personal injury cases, it’s the public that loses, 3 Mayo).

The solution to the patient safety crisis – and it is a crisis – is in appointing a patient safety commissioner with a wide remit of providing strategic coordination and an overarching link between patients, regulators, healthcare providers and policymakers. The current patchwork quilt of well-meaning but disparate initiatives is not good enough. We know this for a fact because the NHS’s own figures show that in 10 years the number of patient safety incidents resulting in severe harm or death has gone up, not down.

This situation needs clear leadership and a coherent strategy, leading to a culture of openness and accountability where lessons are learned without removing the responsibility to provide full and fair redress to injured patients.
Mike Benner
Chief executive, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

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