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NHS reports round up: the scale of the patient safety challenge

24 September 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 17


John Tingle, Lecturer in Law, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, discusses several recent reports dealing with patient safety and litigation in the NHS

Reporting from NHS organisations has continued during the COVID-19 pandemic. NHS Resolution and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are two bodies giving important information about the quality of NHS care, patient safety problems and resulting litigation. At one end of the spectrum we have the CQC investigation reports, which reveal the poor clinical practices from which formal legal claims for compensation may result. At the other end are the NHS Resolution annual reports, which contain the summative details of the costs and nature of legal claims settled. Together, they reveal the full nature of the NHS's patient safety problems.

One of the functions of NHS Resolution is to manage litigation claims brought against the NHS organisations. This position gives it a unique overview of NHS clinical negligence, complaints and patient safety trends, challenges and opportunities. NHS Resolution has been a consistent feature of the care landscape for two and half decades, but in that time it has regularly had to extend its functions to deal with the seemingly ever-changing NHS care environment.

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