Guidelines hope hospital staff apologies reduce negligence claims

It is hoped that new guidelines requiring doctors, nurses and midwives to make verbal apologies to patients when medical mistakes, or near-misses, have occurred will reduce the number of medical negligence claims.

The General Medical Council and Midwifery Council has issued the new guidance requiring the hospital staff to apologies as soon as possible after a mistake comes to light, with a view to reducing anxiety and distress. It also hoped that the action will result in fewer medical negligence claims, which currently cost the NHS around £1.3billion each year.

Hospital employees concerned about disciplinary procedures or dismissal on the back of an apology have been assured that they will be protected from any unfair treatment, but failure to comply with the guidelines could result in a harsher punishment if an incident is reviewed by a disciplinary body.

If you have suffered injury or loss as a result of medical negligence, including delayed treatment, misdiagnosis, and other errors during treatment at a hospital in Northern Ireland, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast to speak to a medical negligence claims solicitor for advice and information by calling 0800 840 9289.