Bolam v Friern HMC. 1957;

Bolitho v City & Hackney Health Authority. 1998;

Burke v GMC. 2005;

Hatcher v Black. 1954;

Kent v Griffiths. 2001;

McCulloch v Forth Valley Health Board. 2023;

Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board. 2015;

Whitehouse v Jordan. 1981;

The relationship between the professional practice standard and a nurse's advisory role

17 August 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 15

Liability for careless harm is given its legal expression in the law of negligence, which has developed in English common law by judges setting rules through decided cases (Hatcher v Black [1954]). These cases set out three fundamental elements (Whitehouse v Jordan [1981]) that have to be met for a successful negligence action resulting in the award of compensation:

Nurses are considered to be in a duty of care situation when caring for patients (Kent v Griffiths [2001]), with the scope of this duty of care being described as:

‘A single comprehensive duty covering all the ways you are called on to exercise skill and judgement in improving the mental and physical condition of the patient.’

Lord Phillips (Burke v GMC [2005])

This is a duty to be careful, to take care and not to harm the patient through careless acts or omissions.

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