In an announcement made by health secretary Jeremy Hunt, he has said the beginning of April will see the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) change its name to NHS Resolution, in time for the release of its five-year plan which outlines future change. The Rebrand will take place at the end of next month, and the new NHS Resolution will look to combine the three existing operating arms of the Litigation Authority, Family Health Services Appeal Unit and National Clinical Assessment Service in a bid to help the NHS in resolving litigation concerns in a way that is fair. It will also serve to help share improvement strategies to help make clinical practice better, and preserve patient care resources.
Speaking to the house of commons on 23rd March, he said: ‘I can inform the house that the NHSLA will radically change its focus from simply defending NHS litigation claims to the early settlement of cases, learning from what goes wrong and the prevention of errors.’
The chief executive of the newly formed NSH Resolution, Helen Vernon, said: ‘The NHSLA is changing its name to NHS Resolution and publishing its five-year strategy, delivering fair resolution and learning from harm, which extends our role beyond the historic narrow remit of claims management.’
She added: ‘In those rare cases which involve brain damage at birth, we will work with the family, healthcare staff and the trust, right from the start to ensure that we learn from what went wrong ad share this rapidly across the NHS.’
The need for trust is central to the change across the country in order to learn from litigation cases and to share experiences. She concluded: ‘Increased support to the NHS in delivering candour in practice and in sharing learning for improvement will be coupled with a fresh approach to resolution which reduces the need for costly and stressful court proceedings.’
Emma Hallinan, who is the director of claims policy and technical at Medical Protection Society, the organisation who are there to defend healthcare professionals from litigation claims, has described the changes as ‘timely’, adding ‘The NHS’s provision for clinical negligence claims has increased dramatically in recent years, so a fresh and more preventative approach to managing claims is timely, and will hopefully reduce the number of costly court cases.’
She finished by saying that there was a ‘desperate need’ for a system which made sure that patients received compensation after suffering medical negligence, but was also affordable to society.
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We hope that this rebranding will represent more than just a name change but also alter the NHS’ approach to medical negligence claims and leads to earlier settlement of claims than often occurs at present. Only time will tell.
With Healys Solicitors you can be assured that you will receive a comprehensive legal service which is always client-focused, performed by experts, and offers a range of first-class legal and non-legal assistance to ensure you receive maximum compensation and the best possible care.
If you wish to make a medical negligence claim, contact our team of experienced lawyers at our Brighton Office on 01273 685 888, or our London office on 020 7822 4000, or contact us via our online contact form.