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NHS redress debate
Started by Bev hurst
Posted: June 6, 2006 at 20:13
The Secretary of State for Health (Ms Patricia Hewitt): I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
Every day, NHS doctors, nurses and other dedicated health care professionals look after patients, improve health and well-being and save thousands of peoplesí lives, and we all owe them an enormous debt of gratitude. But sometimes something goes wrong. The Bill deals with the minority of cases in which patients are harmed by their NHS care. All of us know about such cases from our own constituencies. What I find, and I am sure that other hon. Members find, is that people want to know why the treatment went wrong, they want an apology from the hospital or doctor concerned, and they want to be reassured that lessons have been learned so that others will not suffer like them in future. Sometimes, but by no means all of the time, they would like some compensation
Keith Vaz (Leicester, East) (Lab): I welcome the Bill and my right hon. Friendís commitment to improving the system. Does she agree that one way in which we can deal with such matters quicker is that once a constituent makes a complaint to the health authority, it should give that person as much information as possible? There should be as much information and detail as possible to enable people to decide how they wish to proceed. In far too many cases, even in the authority that we both share, the information is not detailed. Consequently, people feel that they must seek legal advice.
Ms Hewitt: My hon. Friend is right. Trying to get a much faster and more open response to complaints and things that have gone wrong is precisely what the Bill
5 Jun 2006 : Column 25
tackles. As he suggests, all too often, patients and their families feel that the harm that the original incident did is compounded by delays in investigating the complaint and especially by the legal system that deals with clinical negligence cases. Too often, it is perceived as complicated, slow, unfair and costly in time as well as legal fees. Patients and their families often do not get either the explanation or the apology that they want.

Re: NHS redress debate
Reply #1 by Bev hurst
Posted: June 6, 2006 at 20:23
the pity of these extracts from the debate where the Rt hon lady and gentlemen seem to concur that as a whole people just want transparancy and openness of information ~is that this never happens
pity Ms Chewitt never sees firsthand a NHS complaints meeting she would see for herself just how hostile and defensive the medical team can be towards a victims family who just want the answers ~
the complaints procedure as has been rightly quoted is long often prevaricated and actually compounds greatly the harm originally done
all most people want is a safer health system that offers an open transparent policy of information not to spend months, years fighting the system in order to gain a grain of truth
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