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Elevating the Voice of Patients



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Thu 21 September 2023 Elevating the Voice of Patients

The World Health Organisation (WHO) established World Patient Safety Day which was observed on the 17th September 2023. The theme was 'Engaging Patients for Patient Safety.' 

The campaign objectives are set to ensure that patients, their families and caregivers become actively involved in helping improve patient safety by way of:

  1. Raising global awareness of active engagement.
  2.  Engaging policy makers,healthcare workers, stakeholders etc to engage patients and families in policies and practice formation. 
  3.  Empowering patients and their families to involve themselves with their own healthcare and the safety of the healthcare system. 
  4.  Advocating for urgent action on patient and family engagement.

The WHO recognises that involving patients and their families in improving patient safety is invaluable as they are the ones who use and have experience with the healthcare process and their perspective is extremely valuable in ensuring that there is a safer healthcare moving forward. Studies showed a potential reduction in the burden of harm by up to 15%, saving countless lives and billions of dollars each year as a result of the impact of meaningful patient engagement. The Global Action and Safety Plan 2021 – 2023 now includes patient and family engagement as a fundamental principle.    

Our Clinical Negligence Team take on a wide range of cases from birth and spinal injuries, orthopaedic injuries and cardiac injuries to delay in diagnosis of cancer, amputation claims and many more.

When a person suffers from medical negligence, they are not the only ones who are affected by this, it can affect the lives of everyone around them. All too often the first thing that the injured individual or their family members will say is 'I just want to make sure that this does not happen to anyone else'. 

Our Clinical Negligence team supports the campaign and believes that the patients and their families play an important and necessary role in helping to improve patient safety. Over the years, the team  have heard patients and/or their loved ones insist 'I wish they listened to me/us because we would not be in this position.' 

Martha's Rule 

The Health Secretary, Steve Barclay has recently backed the introduction of "Martha's Rule" to ensure that hospital patients know they have the right to a second opinion. This campaign has attracted significant media attention in recent weeks. 

Martha and her family were on holiday in 2021 when she had an accident whilst on her bike. She sustained a pancreatic injury and was taken to hospital. Unfortunately, Martha developed a life threatening condition called Sepsis.

Doctors sought to reassure her parents rather than to worry them about her worsening condition. Nonetheless, her parents raised concerns that Martha appeared to be deteriorating however, their concerns were ignored, and doctors failed to move her to the intensive care unit sooner. 

Following an inquest, the coroner ruled that if she had been referred promptly and had been treated appropriately, it is likely that she would have survived the injuries. 

Her mother is now campaigning to improve patient safety in hospitals and calls for patients and family members to be given the right to a second opinion from a team outside of the existing treating team. 

Where else can I access support? 

When patients are injured as a result of medical negligence, knowing what to do in the aftermath can be overwhelming. Actions against Medical Accidents (AvMA) is a charity which supports victims of medical accidents. They will be able to advise patients and their families about the options available to them following a medical injury. 

AvMA's website has a range of self-help guides to help with anything from making a complaint and assistance with inquests to accessing medical records and frequently asked questions. 

Our Clinical Negligence team are accredited by AvMA as Clinical Negligence Specialists and assist on their helpline. 

The above case serves as a reminder of how important it is to advocate for patient rights. At Taylor Rose MW, we strongly believe that all patients should have their concerns heard and questions answered. This could be way of making a complaint to the hospital, starting a medical negligence claim or campaigning to change polices for the better. Please click here to read our advice about making a complaint.

If you require advice about whether you have a potential clinical negligence claim, please contact our Clinical Negligence department by clicking the 'contact us' button at the top of this page. 

 


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