Sort Out and/or Get Rid of/Replace the Current NHS Complaints Procedure, NHS Redress Act 2006, Personal Injury/Medical Negligence Laws etc

The 2006 NHS Redress Act was intended to offer patients a quicker and fairer alternative to expensive and lengthy legal battles.  However the Dept of Health has failed to produce the necessary secondary legislation to make it operational as per newspaper reports in Aug/Sept 2009.  thus the Act is totally unworkable in England, meanwhile in Scotland and Wales they are working hard upon it, it is reported!

Both lawyers, medical professionals, Parliamentary Health Select Committee and patient safety campaigners have severely criticised the failure, some saying they are "dismayed" others describing it as "appalling".

This Act in it's Statement of Policy in 2006 stated:

7.    The key policy drivers for the proposed reforms are:

i)   the current system is perceived to be complex and slow

ii)   the current system is costly both in terms of legal fees and diverting clinical staff  from  clinical care; there is a negative effect on NHS staff morale and on public confidence;

iii)   patients are dissatisfied with the lack of explanations and apologies or reassurance that action has been taken to prevent the same incident happening to another patient; and

iv)   the system is said to encourage defensiveness and secrecty in the NHS, which stands in the way of learning and improvement in the health service.

8.   The NHS Redress Bill took forward recommendation 1 from Making Amends from earlier bills in the early 2000's:

"an NHS Redress "Scheme" should be introduced to provide investigations when things go wrong, remedial treatment, rehabilitation and care when needed; explanations and apologies; and financial compensation in certain circumstances",

9.   The Bill provides for a more consistent and open response to patients when things go wrong with their NHS Hospital care, placing the emphasis on putting things right for them.  It will promote learning and improvement in the NHS, and provide the impetus for wider service improvement.

10.  …….The NHS Redress Scheme will help local organisations to deliver improved response to their patients……Providers will investigate when something may have gone wrong with a patient's care, with a view to both putting things right for that individual patient, and learning from that patient's experience to improve the quality and safety of future care…..

11.   The Bill will provide a genuine alternative to litigation for less severe cases where there is a qualifying liability in tort arising out of hospital treatment, removing the risk and cost of litigation from the patient.  The scheme will aim to address the delays that are inherent in the current system and help reduce the general burden of litigation costs (which cost the NHS nearly half a billion pounds every year)………….

I will not continue to replicate all the 24 pages and points in this policy document and Act – you can look on www.dh.gov.uk www.parliamentuk/publications or www.opsi.gov.uk/acts  for full information.

 

The Redress Act 2006 needs redressing itself.  The routes now for loging a complaint against the NHS are inherently flawed to the advantage of the NHS not the suffering patient.  None of the above has happened.  Due to its ineffectiveness patients are still left to deal with more negative NHS staff who adopt a protectionalist attitude towards colleagues at the slightest indication that something may have gone wrong, and these injured patients are left with no thorough investigations and or treatments and are put at risk.  Patients still not being given an explanation and apologies or reassurance that action will be taken for them or to prevent the same incident happening to others.

The Complaints Procedure does not speed things up, instead creates delays causing medical professionals to effectively down tools upon the care and treatment of a patient. PALS and ICAS those bodies that are available to help patients with their complaints and provide advice how to negotiate the NHS Complaints Procedure are not independent advisors (they are funded by the Department of Health), they also cannot give advise to you but only assist you stating "it is your complaint"?  The main thing anyone in this situation needs is sound advice and help, as you are so ill anyway to be dealing with more stresses and pressures upon you.

The Government needs to go back to the initial piece of legislation raised with regard to time limits upon having to lodge a legal claim in court for Personal Injury and Medical/Clinical Negligence and change it from the current 3 years to at least 8-10 years.  Thus ensuring that both public and private sector organisations cannot continue to procrastinate via a one sided slow inept complaints procedure.  Forcing the NHS to take it's responsibilities of Duty of Care seriously and suffer the consequences for it's negligent acts, preventing them in effect escaping their liability and responsibilities via a Time Loophole in the Law by passing a patient around like a parcel and sending them for irrelevant tests and investigations or none at all! so they can avoid giving the patient a diagnosis never mind a reason for their current problem. As solicitors (that includes no win no fee) will not take on a case of negligence without a diagnosis, therefore, it is obviously in the NHS's favour to not provide one until it is too late for someone to take Legal Action, never mind 3 years of living hell, immense distress and pain to the injured party.

 

Why is this idea important?

The 2006 NHS Redress Act was intended to offer patients a quicker and fairer alternative to expensive and lengthy legal battles.  However the Dept of Health has failed to produce the necessary secondary legislation to make it operational as per newspaper reports in Aug/Sept 2009.  thus the Act is totally unworkable in England, meanwhile in Scotland and Wales they are working hard upon it, it is reported!

Both lawyers, medical professionals, Parliamentary Health Select Committee and patient safety campaigners have severely criticised the failure, some saying they are "dismayed" others describing it as "appalling".

This Act in it's Statement of Policy in 2006 stated:

7.    The key policy drivers for the proposed reforms are:

i)   the current system is perceived to be complex and slow

ii)   the current system is costly both in terms of legal fees and diverting clinical staff  from  clinical care; there is a negative effect on NHS staff morale and on public confidence;

iii)   patients are dissatisfied with the lack of explanations and apologies or reassurance that action has been taken to prevent the same incident happening to another patient; and

iv)   the system is said to encourage defensiveness and secrecty in the NHS, which stands in the way of learning and improvement in the health service.

8.   The NHS Redress Bill took forward recommendation 1 from Making Amends from earlier bills in the early 2000's:

"an NHS Redress "Scheme" should be introduced to provide investigations when things go wrong, remedial treatment, rehabilitation and care when needed; explanations and apologies; and financial compensation in certain circumstances",

9.   The Bill provides for a more consistent and open response to patients when things go wrong with their NHS Hospital care, placing the emphasis on putting things right for them.  It will promote learning and improvement in the NHS, and provide the impetus for wider service improvement.

10.  …….The NHS Redress Scheme will help local organisations to deliver improved response to their patients……Providers will investigate when something may have gone wrong with a patient's care, with a view to both putting things right for that individual patient, and learning from that patient's experience to improve the quality and safety of future care…..

11.   The Bill will provide a genuine alternative to litigation for less severe cases where there is a qualifying liability in tort arising out of hospital treatment, removing the risk and cost of litigation from the patient.  The scheme will aim to address the delays that are inherent in the current system and help reduce the general burden of litigation costs (which cost the NHS nearly half a billion pounds every year)………….

I will not continue to replicate all the 24 pages and points in this policy document and Act – you can look on www.dh.gov.uk www.parliamentuk/publications or www.opsi.gov.uk/acts  for full information.

 

The Redress Act 2006 needs redressing itself.  The routes now for loging a complaint against the NHS are inherently flawed to the advantage of the NHS not the suffering patient.  None of the above has happened.  Due to its ineffectiveness patients are still left to deal with more negative NHS staff who adopt a protectionalist attitude towards colleagues at the slightest indication that something may have gone wrong, and these injured patients are left with no thorough investigations and or treatments and are put at risk.  Patients still not being given an explanation and apologies or reassurance that action will be taken for them or to prevent the same incident happening to others.

The Complaints Procedure does not speed things up, instead creates delays causing medical professionals to effectively down tools upon the care and treatment of a patient. PALS and ICAS those bodies that are available to help patients with their complaints and provide advice how to negotiate the NHS Complaints Procedure are not independent advisors (they are funded by the Department of Health), they also cannot give advise to you but only assist you stating "it is your complaint"?  The main thing anyone in this situation needs is sound advice and help, as you are so ill anyway to be dealing with more stresses and pressures upon you.

The Government needs to go back to the initial piece of legislation raised with regard to time limits upon having to lodge a legal claim in court for Personal Injury and Medical/Clinical Negligence and change it from the current 3 years to at least 8-10 years.  Thus ensuring that both public and private sector organisations cannot continue to procrastinate via a one sided slow inept complaints procedure.  Forcing the NHS to take it's responsibilities of Duty of Care seriously and suffer the consequences for it's negligent acts, preventing them in effect escaping their liability and responsibilities via a Time Loophole in the Law by passing a patient around like a parcel and sending them for irrelevant tests and investigations or none at all! so they can avoid giving the patient a diagnosis never mind a reason for their current problem. As solicitors (that includes no win no fee) will not take on a case of negligence without a diagnosis, therefore, it is obviously in the NHS's favour to not provide one until it is too late for someone to take Legal Action, never mind 3 years of living hell, immense distress and pain to the injured party.

 

Remove building maintenance budgets from Headteachers and return to Buildings Management within Councils

School Buildings Maintenance Budgets should be managed by those qualified in Buildings maintenance management and purchasing of services,  it should not be within the Headteachers and their employees remit.  Not saying Headteachers are not capable, they have had to try to be, but they didn't go to University all that time ago to learn how to actually manage the building, the site team, the cleaners, the health and safety, the contractors etc etc.

Why else now do we have school buildings fallen into massive disrepair from a maintenance and health and safety point of view and in need of being knocked down and replaced with new buildings under PFI contracts that in the longterm are going to cost the earth and not employ local population or businesses to continue to maintain them in future?

Headteachers are trained teachers and their priority is teaching.  Not entirely interested whether there are enough fire extinguishers, the boiler is serviced, the water system is annually checked for legionella, that the Science, CDT department or Home Economy department is using safe equipment and practices or whether the exterior of the building is collapsing and decaying around them.  They would argue that the budgets they receive from councils do not provide enough to go around but they want and need high class teachers in high class classrooms with the best technology – doesn't matter if the roof tiles are falling down around the ceiling mounted projector! – doesn't matter if the windows are going to fall out!  they have to meet educational targets quite rightly.  We used to have the most envied educational standards in the world.

Head Teachers have been lead to believe for the past years that they are going to get new PFI schools with others managing the facilities for them and  (if were even before) haven't been spending their buildings maintenance allowance budget on buildings maintenance but on other things more in line with meeting their educational targets (understandably so as that's how they get their annual bonuses and pay increments)!

PFI's are not the answer, the council's own buildings/asset management should take back responsibility for those council owned buildings and be given the budget to maintain them correctly and gain the economies of scale through whole area buildings maintenance contracts, also ensuring that local businesses don't completely fold due to the onslaught of PFI maintenance contracts that don't use local companies!  And they have the thorough Health and Safety expertise needed.

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

School Buildings Maintenance Budgets should be managed by those qualified in Buildings maintenance management and purchasing of services,  it should not be within the Headteachers and their employees remit.  Not saying Headteachers are not capable, they have had to try to be, but they didn't go to University all that time ago to learn how to actually manage the building, the site team, the cleaners, the health and safety, the contractors etc etc.

Why else now do we have school buildings fallen into massive disrepair from a maintenance and health and safety point of view and in need of being knocked down and replaced with new buildings under PFI contracts that in the longterm are going to cost the earth and not employ local population or businesses to continue to maintain them in future?

Headteachers are trained teachers and their priority is teaching.  Not entirely interested whether there are enough fire extinguishers, the boiler is serviced, the water system is annually checked for legionella, that the Science, CDT department or Home Economy department is using safe equipment and practices or whether the exterior of the building is collapsing and decaying around them.  They would argue that the budgets they receive from councils do not provide enough to go around but they want and need high class teachers in high class classrooms with the best technology – doesn't matter if the roof tiles are falling down around the ceiling mounted projector! – doesn't matter if the windows are going to fall out!  they have to meet educational targets quite rightly.  We used to have the most envied educational standards in the world.

Head Teachers have been lead to believe for the past years that they are going to get new PFI schools with others managing the facilities for them and  (if were even before) haven't been spending their buildings maintenance allowance budget on buildings maintenance but on other things more in line with meeting their educational targets (understandably so as that's how they get their annual bonuses and pay increments)!

PFI's are not the answer, the council's own buildings/asset management should take back responsibility for those council owned buildings and be given the budget to maintain them correctly and gain the economies of scale through whole area buildings maintenance contracts, also ensuring that local businesses don't completely fold due to the onslaught of PFI maintenance contracts that don't use local companies!  And they have the thorough Health and Safety expertise needed.