Serjeants’ Inn has a long-standing reputation for its members’ special expertise in inquests and inquiries. Barristers from the Serjeants’ Inn public law, police law, professional and regulatory law, and clinical negligence and healthcare teams regularly provide advice and represent clients at inquests and inquiries throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
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The Duty of Candour shows its teeth
From the jaws of the Care Quality Commission this month comes the first ever fine issued for breach of the Duty of Candour. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been given a fixed penalty notice for £1,250 for failing to apologise to a bereaved family within a ‘reasonable’ time.
A baby had been admitted to Bradford Royal Infirmary in July 2016. Delays in diagnosis and missed opportunities to admit him had been recorded as a notifiable safety incident, yet the family were not informed of this and did not receive any apology until October (writes the CQC).
The CQC’s action does not relate to the actual care provided to the child, but rather to the fact that the NHS Trust was slow to inform the family that there had been delays and missed opportunities in his treatment.
Apparently the hospital identified and reported their breach to the CQC themselves, and have implemented an awareness-raising programme across their staff to avoid this happening again. Whilst in theory the CQC have powers of prosecution, in the circumstances, this relatively small fine seems more proportionate.
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Serjeants’ Inn is at the forefront of healthcare law. We have over 160 recommendations in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for expertise in relevant fields including clinical negligence, professional discipline and regulatory law, Court of Protection and inquests and inquiries.
The third edition of Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law, was edited by Christopher Johnston QC, written by members of Serjeants’ Inn and published by Bloomsbury Professional in 2016. This blog is part of an online accompaniment to the print edition and features updates to the text.
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