Litigious Society

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Conference
2006 Health Care Service Group Conference
Date
21 December 2005
Decision
Carried

Conference notes that unprincipled legal firms are trying to sell their services to a wider market by encouraging members of the public to sue NHS organisations if they are not content with the levels of care received.

The NHS has mechanisms for identifying and rectifying errors in treatment and practice. Health professionals are regulated and subject to codes of conduct. The National Patient Safety Agency exists to ensure consistency of approach and response to fatal and near-miss incidents. Patient Advice and Liaison Staff provide a local means by which patients, clients and relatives can request resolution of a particular issue.

This Executive believes that:

. NHS practice and standards are adequately regulated and that patients

and clients have access to recourse and resolution of issues

. NHS staff should have the ability to undertake their work – according to

their organisational policies and codes of conduct – without the threat of

litigation.

Conference calls on the Service Group Executive

1. to urge branches and sectors to lobby employers to ensure that these lawyers are not able to advertise their services on NHS property or in NHS

materials.

2. to develop a model agreement to support branches in this action.