The only solution is to have a Statutory Duty of Candour.
A Duty of Candour should be introduced for all Hospitals and medical Professionals, it is is simply a responsibility on hospital, medical and nursing staff to tell the truth to patients, when there has been a mistake, which has adversely affected the patient. So if a Radiologist misses a cancer reading on a CT scan, or if a patient contracts sepsis after surgery, there should be a Statutory obligations on the medical staff to admit that to patients or their families as soon as they realise their error.
It is a sad indictment of our system that the most obvious approach, namely to tell the truth, needs to be legislated for but that is the reality.
The proposed new legislation merely supports a National Policy of Open Disclosure which has been in place since November 2013. Unfortunately, this policy of open disclosure has not been complied with.
Tony O’ Brien, HSE Director General, has himself criticised the adversarial framework used to resolve litigation. Yet the solution to the problem is within the gift of Mr O’ Brien and his organisation. Tell the patient what happened and admit liability. Stop this war of attrition. The patient, the tax payer and society in general, will be better served.
Barry Healy, Solicitor, Monaghan and all of the Solicitors in Barry Healy & Company, Solicitors Monaghan can assist with any queries re medical Negligence.
* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.