Conference: Patient safety, litigation against doctors and gross negligence manslaughter

1 March 2017

Friday 21 April 2017

Royal Society of Medicine
1 Wimpole Street

Improving patient safety, by means of a reduction of medical errors, has been a major focus of attention over the past several years. This one-day meeting will review progress to date and consider how further progress can be made. Speakers include Professor Terence Stephenson, Chairman of the General Medical Council and Mr David Sellu, who went to prison on a charge of gross negligence manslaughter.

The ways and means of turning back the tide of litigation against doctors will be debated as well as the appropriateness of the use of criminal prosecution of surgeons for “gross negligence manslaughter”.

Further details including the agenda and how to register are available here.


Seminar: Nervous Shock and the Chameleon Nature of English Judicial Decisions in Australian Legislation

22 November 2016

IALS Legal History Seminar

02 Dec 2016, 18:00 to 20:00
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR

Professor Mark Lunney, University of New England, Nervous Shock and the Chameleon Nature of English Judicial Decisions in Australian Legislation: Section 4 of the ‘Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1944’ (NSW)

This event is free but advance booking is requested.

Organised in association with the London Legal History seminar.

Workshop: Old Markets, New Markets: Health Law after the 2012 Act

7 June 2013

Date & Venue

27 June 2013
School of Law Sheffield, UK

Workshop Summary

  • 30 specialist speakers and discussants
  • Access to papers and resources
  • Time to network and share your research
  • Lunch and refreshments included


Panel 1: International experiences of markets in health

Panel 2: Markets and market failures – a more domestic perspective

Panel 3: Impact on vulnerable groups

Panel 4: Capacity building post the 2011 Report (Innovation, Health and Wealth) and 2012 Act

Panel 5: Medical malpractice in a post-2012 context

Book your place on-line today

Standard Rate – £75.00 | Student Rate – £50.00

Radio: two-part documentary on truth-telling in cases of negligence and misadventure

20 February 2012

Doctor – Tell Me The Truth

BBC Radio 4, Monday 20 and 27 February 2012, 20.00-20.30. I expect episode 1 will be available via the iPlayer shortly

Part 1:

Each year between 45,000 and 98,000 Americans die because of the treatment they receive in hospital. In Doctor, Tell Me The Truth, Professor James Reason discovers how encouraging doctors to admit their mistakes has improved patient safety. He hears from Rick Boothman and Darrell Campbell at the University of Michigan, the creators of a programme where doctors have to be open about their errors. They describe the previous ‘deny-and-defend’ attitude in which the hospital would stonewall any complaints made against them and contrast this with the present system in which investigations into errors can be started even before the patient comes round from their anaesthetic. We hear moving stories about face-to-face apologies from patients, doctors and lawyers.

Part 2:

In the second part of Doctor Tell Me The Truth Prof Reason asks whether the University of Michigan programme could work in the NHS. Peter Walsh from Action Against Medical Accidents tells him of cases where doctors have been prevented from admitting their mistakes at the insistence of their managers. He introduces us to ‘Robbie’s Law’, named after a boy who died as a result of medical malpractice, a piece of proposed legislation now being examined in the House of Lords which would require all NHS hospitals to adopt an open disclosure policy. Academics David Studdert and Alan Kalachian ask whether such a policy is legally enforceable or even desirable. Sir Liam Donaldson, a former Chief Medical Officer, tells us of his attempts to promote openness in the NHS and we hear from Robbie Powell’s father who tells us that his twenty year legal battle could have been avoided if the doctors had only admitted their mistakes and apologised.

Radio: primary care in England

6 March 2011

Doctors in Charge

BBC Radio 4, File on Four, available now via the iPlayer

“Success of the Government’s proposed NHS reforms in England rests on family doctors. GPs will be responsible for commissioning treatment for their patients, and managing the £80 billion NHS budget. But how much do we know about the effectiveness and value for money offered by doctors in General Practice? Gerry Northam reports.”

Radio: NHS trusts ‘not complying with safety alerts’

16 February 2010

BBC Radio 4, File on Four, Tuesday 16 February, 8-8.40pm, repeated 5-5.40pm, Sunday 21 February 2010, available after broadcast via the iPlayer or as a podcast.

From the BBC website: “Three-quarters of NHS trusts are endangering patients by not complying with safety alerts meant to stop fatal errors recurring, a charity says. Action Against Medical Accidents found that some 300 trusts had not complied with at least one patient safety alert despite the deadline passing. AvMA’s Chief Executive Peter Walsh said: “Lives are being put at risk.” The Department of Health said it expected all trusts to comply with the alerts and to “record and action them”. It added: “The department will shortly be issuing all NHS organisations a formal reminder of their obligations to do this.”

Under the patient safety alert system, the National Patient Safety Agency can issue guidance to NHS organisations to tighten procedures by a set time. But AvMA said that robust compliance systems were lacking in many hospitals in England. Figures obtained by the charity via freedom of information requests revealed that 200 trusts had not complied with an alert dating back five years.”