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It is clear that medical negligence may always play apart within medicine as many claim that health care workers are human and it is human nature to make mistakes, however the important questions is, is there ever room for mistakes when it comes to people’s health. The question will be clearly answered with a very big ‘no’ as even the littlest of medical errors can cause a disastrous domino effect on not only a person’s life but also those lives of close family and friends. Medical negligence is the act or omission from a health care worker that a health services that has been provided was below the expected standard set and as a direct result of such negligence the patient has been further harmed either mentally or physically. A health care worker is classed as a person who is responsible health and care wise for a patient and that can cover any one of the health care professionals, from a carer to a top class consultant. In reality medical negligence can take place in a variety of environments not just at hospitasl or GP surgeries, it can take place where ever a person classed as working within the health industry as a duty of care to a patient resides. Medical negligence can even take place in a person own home if they are medically being cared for there.
Medical negligence should always be brought to the surface so that organisations are aware of any poor standard of care that is being offered as it may not always be obvious to others that there are failings within the health industry. Negligence within medicine can be highly detrimental to a person’s health and to their future so it must never go unrecognised as it may continue to happen to others and such behaviour should not be allowed to continue. If you believe that you have been a victim of medical negligence and your health has been affected as a further consequence then you may have valid medical negligence claims and be able to purse a case for medical negligence.
Need for Change within Medical Negligence Law
Before now it was not law that those who were affected by medical negligence should be told of such negligence which in turn allowed for unacceptable behaviour to be covered up. If a negligent act was committed within the health industry it was probably taken for granted that health care workers are under a professional duty to work ‘honestly and transparently’ but as breaches were already being made to the standard of service a small minority were making providing poor standards of care it could no longer be taken as truth that such breach in duties were always being brought to the surface. In the UK there was a massive investigation after 1200 patients at two Mid-Staffordshire hospitals died under questionable circumstances but where never brought to light for a long period of time. It is absolutely crucial that a proposal for a change in the law concerning acts of medical negligence being omitted from the initial stages not only so that those committing such negligence will be deterred greatly and provide a much better service of care but so that cover-ups are no longer permitted to happen.
The Change in Medical Negligence Law
Health Secretary Alex Neil will soon announce changes to the law concerning medical negligence as part of UK wide strategy to completely put an end to medical negligence being undisclosed when rightly health care professionals have a duty to always be open and honest about misgivings. The new law to be implemented is known as the ‘statutory duty of candour’ which means hospitals will be under obligation to disclose any negligence committed by any member of staff and disclosed to the patient. The change in law will not only bring about transparency in the failings of organisations and their staffs but will also hugely improve standards and services offered by the health care industry and the Scottish Government believes it will allow staff to speak out more freely. Robert Francis QC who led the investigation on to the Mid-Staffordshire hospitals recommended that any health care worker who did not disclose any negligence should be prosecuted. It will not bring any new sanctions for hospitals and health care providers who provide a poor standard of service as the Scottish Government believes that there are already sufficient sanctions already in place under the existing rules. The statutory duty of candour is not only an ethical duty but a statutory duty set by law.