NHS must admit when it has made a serious error

The NHS brings hope, health, and life to millions of people, but on rare occasions it also fails and patients are injured, and families are left bereaved.

Thursday, 17th March 2016, 6:33 am
Updated Thursday, 17th March 2016, 6:36 am

To save some money for the NHS, the Government plans to cut its legal bill for medical negligence compensation claims.

Although the public purse is indeed not bottomless, paying compensation is necessary while the NHS continues to cause unnecessary harm.

The Government’s priority should be to ensure the NHS serves its purpose to help people.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

When things go wrong which shouldn’t go wrong injured patients and their families need guidance and legal representation.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) of which I am a member, has some ideas for improvements to benefit both our beloved health service and its patients.

The NHS must admit when it is wrong. Failure by the NHS to apologise is the most common complaint raised by patients in England and forces some people down the legal route in search of answers.

A ‘deny, defend, delay’ tactic is used all too often, and drags legal cases out unnecessarily.

Obtaining medical records as part of a medical negligence claims can take up to six months when official guidelines state they should be released within 21 days.

Patients and their lawyers do not have time to waste. Quicker recovery of records would reduce a lot of work, uncertainty, and the negative knock-on effect such delays have on costs.

But the easiest and most effective way to cut the NHS’s legal bill is for it to learn from its own failures and stop repeating harm.

Each claim the NHS has to pay compensation for represents a person who was injured unnecessarily and who needs to get their life back on track.

John McQuater

Executive committee member and past president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), Atherton Godfrey Solicitors, Doncaster

Wonderful weekend

We had a wonderful weekend in Skipton thanks to our lovely daughter Dawn and her husband Andrew.

They took us to Skipton for a belated Christmas present and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

It’s a lovely market town and there are great charity shops, which suited me down to the ground.

The Unicorn hotel was lovely very clean and good food.

Once again a truly nice and gracious present.

We both enjoyed it and we are both very proud of you both. Keep on smiling.

Mum & Dad, (Keith & Wendy)


Blue box is

far too small

The blue box is too small, it took me only 10 minutes to fill mine from top to bottom with cardboard.

13 boxes have cracked, four smashed, four blown down the road.