A cure for errors?

Doctor expert witnesses and patients are hugely frustrated with the current costly and over-long procedures in alleged negligence cases. Private consultant entrepreneur Dr Hugh Whitfield outlines the thinking behind his new company’s aims to be a game-changer.

Spiralling medical negligence costs are perhaps the greatest threat to the future of the NHS.

Over the last three years, there has been a threefold increase in pay-outs to patients who believe they have suffered as a result of medical negligence.

Interview of two business professionals

Patients seek and deserve four things:

  1. An apology;
  2. An explanation;
  3. Compensation;
  4. Rapid resolution of their claim.

If the NHS and the private medical sector are to fulfil their obligations to patients and pursue the ‘Duty of Candour’ that is a requirement for all who work in the NHS – and by inference in the private sector too – there can be no discussion about or disagreement with these four fundamental objectives.

Managers, doctors, nurses and all healthcare workers are required to hold true to these fundamentals.

The same principles apply to the private medical sector. Under the present system, these aims are not met. All too often, patients who believe that their treatment has caused them an injury face a brick wall at the hospital where they have been treated.

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