Clinical Negligence Overview
Dr Sarah Devaney
Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Manchester
Dr Craig Purshouse
Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Liverpool
Starting out the session, Craig set out what the requirements are for a clinical negligence claim to be issued. A test known as 'The Bolan Test' is used to determine whether the standards of a clinician are breached.
It was seen that the Bolan Test was generous to doctors, and that it didn't take much for the defendant to not be considered negligent, for example receiving a medical opinion from a responsible professional.
Craig introduced the delegates to the ways the shortcomings of The Boland Test and NICE guidelines have been addressed.
Sarah proposed the question to the delegates: should medical professionals be immune from clinical negligence claims?
The Claimant Position and what a Claimant expects from the process
Chairman Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers & Lead Partner, Business Development, Clinical Negligence, Royds Withy King
To start out the session, Paul defined what a claimant is: an innocent, injured patient.
Why do patients complain and or litigate? Both are linked. Why do any of us complain about anything? In Paul's experience it's because they want to be heard and they want things to change. So it isn't just something for the clinician to hear, it is something for the NHS as a whole to listen to. Paul states that there is a sense of ownership over the NHS from patients as it is funded by the taxpayer.
It is important to listen and emphasise with the patient, and to understand that for many of them it is down to a breach of trust. This is especially important for solicitors and layers to understand before they shift the blame to other potential reasons, such as revenge.
In this session, Paul detailed some clinical negligence cases and how they were or were not resolved. He stresses that it is important for people to study this so that history does not repeat itself.