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Gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare: the report of a rapid policy review

The rapid policy review into gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare published on 20th June 2018 was set up to look at the wider patient safety impact of concerns among healthcare professionals that simple errors could result in prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter, even if they happen in the context of broader organisation and system failings. 

The review makes recommendations to support a more just and learning culture in the healthcare system. It covers: 
• the process for investigating gross negligence manslaughter 
• reflective practice of healthcare professionals 
• the regulation of healthcare professionals 

Professor Sir Norman Williams to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care June 2018 “Healthcare professionals go to work to alleviate suffering not to add to it. They work in complex, high-risk environments, invariably as part of a team, and when things go wrong it is rarely the result of one individual’s error. When a patient dies due to one or more errors, it has a profound effect on that healthcare professional and the entire team, both psychologically and in terms of their confidence. Such effects can then be compounded by an investigation which may seek to blame, rather than to understand the factors that have led to the tragedy so that lessons can be learnt to prevent future incidents. At all stages of any investigation the stress levels for those involved, including the professionals, can be overwhelming. For the healthcare professionals a sense of fear pervades and patient safety is jeopardised as they become cautious about being open and transparent, impeding the opportunity for lessons to be learnt.” 

RELATED EVENTS:

Managing and Supporting Clinicians/ Healthcare Professionals involved in a Patient Safety Incident, Complaint or Claim
Monday 16 July 
De Vere West One Conference Centre
London

Managing and Supporting Doctors involved in a Patient Safety Incident, Complaint or Claim
Monday 16 July 
De Vere West One Conference Centre
London

 


27 June 2018

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