NHS Litigation Rebrands to Resolution
On 1 April 2017, the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), the body that handles legal claims against most NHS Trusts in England, was renamed NHS Resolution. The change was announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in March 2016 as part of an overhaul of the NHS Litigation Authority.
There appear to be two main objectives to the change. These are to support families who have suffered medical mistakes while providing advice to help the NHS learn from those mistakes.
A specialist early intervention team is planned to focus on some types of particular claims including brain injuries at birth.
In that way, it is the Government’s intention to shift the focus of the old NHSLA from claim management to proactive early intervention.
It is to be hoped that the changes will see a patient focused resolution process develop from now on. Certainly, patients who have suffered major injury, for example as a result of an injury at birth, should in theory benefit medically from the actions of the early intervention team.
The objective to help Trusts learn from mistakes is a positive approach but its success will be reliant on individuals acknowledging any deficiencies (in line with the Duty of Candour) and a robust system to feedback the improvements required. That would indeed be a role for the newly formed ‘NHS Improvement’, an NHS body working towards the success of the service.
Like all programmes of change, it will undoubtedly take some time to see the benefit but the intentions seem to be good.
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