Irwin Mitchell Supports Fines for NHS Hospital Errors

New fines for medical negligence and hospital errors

14.12.2007

14/12/2007

Leading clinical negligence law firm Irwin Mitchell has welcomed the suggestion from the Government's Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson, that hospitals should be fined if patients contract infections or suffer injury through medical negligence.

The plans are being put to Lord Darzi of Denham, the Health Minister who is carrying out an extensive NHS review to address amongst many priorities the reported 733,000 patient safety incidents which led to the deaths of more than 3,000 patients.

Why should the health service, funded by the taxpayer, pay for the care of a patient that's had bad or unsafe care?, Sir Liam said. In any other walk of life if you receive very bad service then you don't pay for it, you get a refund, and I don't think it should be any different in the health service.

Head of Medical Law and Patient's Rights at Irwin Mitchell, David Body said  Sir Liam Donaldson's proposals deserve a welcome; he is known to believe that the NHS should learn from its mistakes and should develop fail safe systems like those in the aviation industry which would minimise risk to patients.

Many of the problems that he is confronting are systems failures and those should only have to be corrected once. 

The NHS really should become an 'Organisation with a Memory'.

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_4065083