Most client's who come us to pursue a medical negligence claim following the death of a loved one have often already made a complaint to the hospital or there has been an internal investigation. Sadly, most are dissatisfied with how the hospital has handled the complaint/investigation, stating that they did not feel involved in the process or kept up to date. They often still have many unanswered questions and feel that pursuing a claim is the only way they can get these answers.
In December 2016, the Care Quality Commission published a report called 'Learning, candour and accountability' which included recommendations to help improve the way NHS trusts investigate the deaths of patients.
Following this report, guidelines have now been put in place which introduce new tools and reporting expectations on all NHS trusts from 1 April 2017.
It is hoped these new guidelines will ensure families are fully involved throughout the investigation process meaning they can make more of an informed choice about whether or not to pursue a medical negligence claim.
Professor Sir Mike Richards, CQC's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: "We know that the quality of investigations is not good enough and that families and carers are not always properly involved in the investigations process or treated with the respect they deserve, so I am glad that action to address this has become a national priority. "We are continuing to work closely with NHS Improvement, NHS England, families and carers and NHS trusts to ensure the learning from our review, and particularly the importance of involving families and carers in developing solutions, is shared and helps to support the delivery of this work."