Saying Sorry

Posted by Annabelle Eyre on

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BL Claims Solicitors specialise in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel claims, providing our clients with hands-on support, nationally.

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The NHSLA has provided guidance to hospital trusts in England and Wales to encourage doctors and nurses to be more open and honest when things go wrong and to apologise to patients as soon as staff are aware an incident has occurred.

The guidance, "Saying Sorry", proposes that hospitals establish a local policy so that staff understand how to communicate to patients and loved ones when things go wrong.  It emphasises that a meaningful apology should not be delayed even when a formal complaint by the patient or their family is likely to be forthcoming.

Often, clinical negligence claims against the NHS are commenced out of a sense of frustration from patients and their families because there is no acknowledgement that things have gone wrong and all too often patients feel they are left in the dark about what has happened. 

It is also important in this spirit of candour promoted by the Secretary of State that complaints by patients are addressed properly and investigated thoroughly.  Of course, apologies are to be welcomed;  however, it is also necessary for hospitals, doctors and nurses to recognise the failures in care and to address them with retraining and lessons to learn to prevent such incidents from recurring.

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About the Author

Photograph of Annabelle Eyre

Annabelle is a solicitor in our Clinical Negligence team.

Annabelle Eyre
Email Annabelle
023 8085 7499

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