Complaints and clinical failure – Select Committee 1

Kieran Seale Verita Consultancy Ltd

Kieran Seale

Published 28 January 2015 More about Kieran

Clinical failure

Ed Marsden, Verita’s managing director, has been asked to give evidence to a House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into how incidents of clinical failure in the NHS are investigated and how subsequent complaints are handled.

The invitation followed the submission of written evidence earlier this month.

Verita’s evidence argued that any system of dealing with incidents in the NHS should be built on the principles that it should be:

  • improvement focused – the ultimate aim of these processes is to deliver better services to patients
  • prompt – investigations should be carried out as soon as possible
  • simple – the methodology applied should be easy for front-line staff to understand
  • local – investigations should be carried out as close as possible to where the incident occurs
  • involve patients and families – recognising the perspective of patients and their families and allowing their voices to be heard
  • independent – public confidence in investigations is essential so there will be times when they need to be carried out independently
  • insightful – with the focus on understanding underlying causes including weak systems and processes.

The submission proposed that guidance should be provided to those who commission investigations so that they do so with these objectives in mind and that capacity should be built within the NHS so that good quality investigations can, where appropriate, be carried out locally.

To see a copy of the evidence submitted by Verita, click here.

If you would like to learn more about clinical failure then please contact our Kieran Seale on 020 7494 5670 or [email protected].

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