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is delighted to publish statement of 'Patients' Rights in Statute' in the New
received response from the DH dated 5th January 2009 to our letter
of the 14th July 2008 re: Protests against the removal of the HCC from
reformed NHS Complaints procedure. The DH appeard to agree that the NHS
Complaints procedure wa a denil of our Human Rights under the Article 6,
but that 'this did not matter' because we can all go to Law!!
celebrated 10 years of campaigning for Patient Safety and Patients' Rights
as Patient Safety Champion (Eng.& Wales, attended a meeting in Birmingham where the Patient Safety Champions were to meet with representatives from
the Strategic Health Authorities' Patient Safety Action Teams.
continued to raise its concerns with the HCC over the member who
was branded (unjustifiably in our opinion) a VC, which was an obstacle
to her obtaining genuine
as a Patient Safety Champion (Eng & Wales), gave a PowerPoint presentation
to a THOTH meeting: "Management of the Consequences of Adverse
advocating that it is essential for patient safety and for the protection
of the iatrogenic patient that there must be ' full,
open and honest disclosure regardless of the legal liability of the health
submitted its campaign for Patients' Rights in Statute to the Number 10
submitted its statement of 'Patients' Rights in Statute' to
Lord Darzi's request for ideas for a Patient's Constitution.
submitted a Memorandum to the Health Select Committee for their
Inquiry into 'Patient
Safety'. SIN maintained that the iatrogenic patient is without
Patient Safety because s/he has fallen through the 'safety net' and is considered
to be a 'potential litigant'.
wrote a letter to the HCC on behalf of our member who was branded a VC
Complainant). In our view this was totally unjustified, the Order was four
years old and each time it was reviewed by the very same health professionals
who had instigated it, supported by their lawyers. It was obvious from the
photographic evidence that this patient was very seriously ill and the VC
Order was preventing
her from being taken seriously
and obtaining genuine medical care.
inserts a full page statement demanding Patients' Rights in Statute into the 'House
Magazine '. July was the 60 year celebration of the NHS, and a special
supplement was published.
attended National Advisory Group Meeting run by the DH in London. There
were a number of Patient Groups present. It is to be hoped that the DH
will really listen
to what patients are saying.
attended a meeting of the Patient Safety Champions in London on
'Being Open Policy' now supposedly the 'official' policy of the NHS!!!
a disappointing response from the DH to our letter re: Protest against the
Premature and Retrograde Removal of the HCC from the NHS Complaints Procedure, SIN
wrote another more detailed letter showing how ineffective the NHS Complaints
Procedure was and indeed it was a violation of our Human Rights under Article
6 and therefore was unlawful etc. etc. ( a Full account of this
activity will be uploaded onto our website shortly).
attended meeting with senior civil servant at the DH. SIN is attempting to
renew interest in the Redress Bill.We are convinced that it is the medico-litigation
lobby, especially the MDU and the MPS, who form the main opposition to the
with several members attended a meeting at York University to help with a
research project entitled: "Patient Involvement in Patient Safety".
contacted SIN in great distress because had been labelled a Vexatious Complainant (VC)
because had complained that she was not able to obtain genuine and appropriate
attended the NPSA Patient Safety Congress in London. This Conference
lasted for two days. Patient Safety is now a very public issue. It is amazing
many 'consultancies' have mushroomed up overnight to give courses/advice
etc. on 'Patient Safety'. We are convinced that that the people who should
are the iateogenic patients and their families, rather than these 'professionals'
who have very little personal knowledge or experience of a serious Adverse
Medical Incident. There were many nurses and 'complaints' staff and Risk
Managers present and the medico-litigation lobby was also represented. There
seemed few doctors and consultants at the Conference. SIN was gratified that
many healthcare workers were aware of SIN's work and indeed were in favour
with what we were trying to do: to change the culture to one of openness
and honesty. We gained the impression that the NPSA were 'inundated with
relatively minor AMIs, but the really serious ones, causing death or permanent
were much fewer than were expected.
attended a two day Induction Course for 22 Patient Safety Champions in London. Two PS Champions were allocated to each Strategic Health Authority( SHA).
Each SHA should be setting up a Patient Safety Action Team to instigate the
Recommendation of the Safety First Document produced by the NHS
in December 2006.
attended the Annual General Meeting of the MRSASupport Group in Birmingham. This Group
continues to do stirling work for the protection of patients. It has produced
a very useful pamphlet suggesting ways that a patient can protect himself/herself
from hospital acquired infections. A PowerPoint presentation on facts about
MRSA and how to avoid infection, is also available for any patient organisation
that wishes to have a demonstration. Contact the MRSASUPPORT website.
letter to DH protesting about the premature and retrograde step of removing
the HCC as the Independent Level from the newly reformed NHS Complaints
with other patient activists attended a meeting in Birmingham with the
AvMA when the idea of a Patient Champion Network was discussed. This
Network of Patient Champions for Patient Safety will be linked with the WHO
Network of Patients for Patient Safety ( PfPS) Alliance.
attended a very good Conference organised by AvMA on the topic of 'Complaints'
the Reform of the NHS Complaints System. Very dismayed to discover that the
HealthCare Commission which now acts as the Independent Level of Investigation
to the newly reformed NHS Complaints Procedure ( 2004) is to be removed by
April 2009. We are then to resort to a TWO TIER system: the Local Resolution
and the Health Ombudsman. Whoever thought up this crack-pot idea? Is it a
case of one step forward and two steps back?
a Strategic Health Authority meeting concerned with helping and funding NGOs
and voluntary Groups. Very diffiult to obtain any funding. Disconcerted
to discover in a discussion with a civil servant from the DH that iatrogenic
patients had no problems in obtaining the turth about any injury sustained
because they could use the NHS Complaints Procedure ( !) or go to Law (!).
SIN considers that civil servants and the medical-litigation lawyers of the
DH are some of the main stumbling blocks to change such as the innovative
member who was challenging Hospital Trust on cause of death of husband.
maintained that husband had died from alcoholic poisoning that we self-administered.
Our member claimed that this was inccurate and the Post
Mortem toxicology results found no alcohol in her husband's system. Our
member alleged that her had died from an excess of morphine administered
by the staff of the Trust.
of SIN attended a discussion in London on Regulatory Reforms of the NMC
the NPSA to discuss Recommendation 13 of the 'Safety First' Document issued
by the NHS. This important Document will be Reviewed shortly by
attended the AGM of the MRSASupport Group. This Group is doing
excellent work in making the public and the NHS aware of the problems of
MRSA and other hospital acquired infections. Three speakers ( scientists/business
men) spoke of new substances which could help eradicate these infections:
an air purifier and ozone treatment for MRSA infected wounds. All the speakers
claimed that they had proof of that these treatments were successful against
MRSA and other bugs, yet the NHS appeared not to be interested and preferred
to continue with the present methods of "cleaning our wards". We wonder
whether the fact that very strong drugs are now available to treat MRSA
has allowed some complacency to to take hold. Deterrence is surely better
than treatment? The Guest speaker was from Patient Focus, Ireland and
gave a Power Point presentation
the case of Neary the gynaecologist who had removed uteri and ovaries from
many young women without consent. He had been struck off. The women involved
received compensation from the Irish government. Incidentally, Patient
Focus is a member of the IEU-Alliance
to Aachen, North Germany to join our IEU-Alliance colleagues
the DPSB (Deutscher
Patienten Schutzbund). The DPSB had invited SIN to join them in their Patient
Safety activities. The DPSB, with their Chair, Gisela Bartz, had made a 'Gold
Medal' to present to their Health Minister. This was to be presented when
the Health Ministers of the EU were meeting at an hotel in Aachen. The
IEU Declaration was handed in. Afterwards there was a Demonstration in front
of the Rathaus ( Town Hall). See 'Our Comments' for more details + photos
or click onto www.ieu-alliance.org.
attended a Patient Safety Network Event at the NPSA run jointly
with WHO PFPS -Alliance and AvMA. This was a very interesting meeting -
were discussed and a Role Play was enacted. Efforts are being made to change
the Culture within the NHS from Professional Dominance and a closed Paternalistic
Culture to one of Patient Empowerment and an encouragement towards a more
truthful and open explanations.
went to a Nurses and Midwifery Council Forum in Leicester where
the new Nurses Conduct Regulations were discussed. SIN said that it was most
the nurses were supported by the Trust when they wished to be open and honest
with patients when things go wrong. Too often the nurses are restricted by
went to a very interesting meeting held at the Manchester Library and organised
Martin Rathfelder of the Socialist Health Association.The Health Minister
Andy Burnham was present.The plan was to discuss proposals for the
future direction of the NHS including Gordon Brown's suggestion
of the NHS having an Independent Board. Also, Andy Burnham had proposed an
There was a suggestion that perhaps the NHS had had too many 're-structuring'
initiatives and perhaps now was the time for stability. SIN agreed with this
assertion, for every 're-structuring' must cost an enormous amount of money
- just for changing letter headings eg. When Regional NHS Boards were changed
to Strategic Health Authorities- and also such re-structurings could be used
to break lines of accountability. SIN
that what ever
was suggested it must include Patient Safety at its heart and SIN asked when
were patients to get 'full, open and honest disclosure when things go wrong
regardless of legal liability'? . The problem that iatrogenic patients could
be denied genuine specialist care must be addressed. SIN
was able to give to Mr Burnham several of SIN's documents and our 'Aims
at the NPSA London to discuss Patient Safety issues.
December meeting with Dr Graham Neale who has been working for a
more open attitude to medical errors for many years. He co-authored a Paper
Charles Vincent highlighting the frequency of unrecorded medical errors.
Delighted that medical professionals such as Dr Neale have been active in
improve patient safety.
December second meeting
with NCAS at the NPSA Offices.
written and verbal support for a member who had been struck off from their
GP Practice because the patient had raised concerns about poor performance
of local GPs. We do think that a more mature attitude is needed by GPs and
other doctors when dealing with patients who raise concerns.If teachers
had the same powers to 'remove/strike-off' difficult pupils - the classrooms
would be empty. Why are doctors allowed to do this? All they have to state
is tha:; " Relationship has broken down" - but do they not have
a responsibility to make an effort to 'mend' the relationship, particularly
when they may
have been the cause?. 'Striking off' is too easy an option and causes tremendous
distress to the
members of SIN have been struck off for raising legitimate concerns. This
case should be appearing soon on our website. It raises some very important
writes short piece for the November issue of "Patient For Patient
Safety ( PFPS) Alliance" of the World Health Organisation. SIN
is delighted to be represented in this newsletter. See 'Our Comments'
November writes letter to Guardian Newspaper re: Electronic Medical Records following
an article and emphasising the fact that there is no strategy to guarantee
accuracy. Nor is there any provision for the patient to correct
mistakes or omissions. Furthermore this is a breach of our confidentiality
and is being done without our permission and is a denial of our Human Rights.
This letter was published.( see 'Letters')
November meeting in Birmingham with the Socialist Health
Care Policy Association - rather like a 'Think-Tank'. Very interesting
discussions. SIN raised the need for 'open and honest disclosure regardless
of legal liability
because it is the only just, ethical and moral way of dealing with the consequences
of serious medical errors. Open disclosure will allow for damaged patients
to receive remedial care which is often under the present system denied them,
because they are seen as potential litigants. Also raised concerns over Electronic
medical records. MRAS Support was also present.
November meeting at the NPSA with the NCAS (National Clinical Advisory Service). This is a new organisation set up to help 'failing' doctors before their
behaviour is serious enough for the GMC to be brought in. Medical colleagues
and Administrative Executives can call on the NCAS if it is felt that some
doctors are 'failing'. However, we see that the disadvantage of this is that
the one group who cannot refer 'failing doctors' to the NCAS is - PATIENTS-
yet these are most likely to be able to identify such doctors. We also believe
that protocols must be in place to protect a 'whistle-blowing ' doctor who
is annoying colleagues from being sent to the NCAS for 'retraining'. We
fear that Stephen Bolsin may well have been sent to the NCAS if it had been
theory it is an excellent idea although we think it should be extended to
allow patients to refer 'failing' doctors.
Newsletter sent out. If
any member did not receive one please get in touch.
September meeting at NMC ( Nurses & Midwives Council) to discuss Fitness
to Practice Procedures. Meeting facilitated by AvMA following on suggestion
at the Medical Self-Help Network Conference in May. Representatives were
from AvMA, APROPH ( Association for the Proper Regulation of Private Hospitals)
and SIN. It was generally considered that holding nurses to account for bad
behaviour was well nigh impossible.
NCM pointed out that their list of possible sancions was under review and
up to date they had very little choice except to strike a nurse from the
Register which could only occur in very severe circumstances. The increase
in categories of sanctions was welcomed.Points raised:
when very comphrehensive and detailed complaints with evidence, some
from expert witnesses, were submitted - still the complaints were not
upheld - a dossier/file was shown to illustrate this point.
from the NCN Fitness to Practice Dept.were very short simply
stating that complaint was not upheld-no detailing of complaint or evidence
given-this was not considered as satisfactory
Patient who had complained about treatment to her husband had sent in
a very extensive well written dossier but her complaint was not upheld
and furthermore when she asked for the dossier to be returned she was
told it had been destroyed within a week of the letter dismissing complaint
being sent. It was suggested that all evidence submitted should be listed
and signed for and detailed comments written.
was made to the recent television documentary programmes showing nurses
behaving badly. It was asked why the NCM was not pro-active - it was
obvious who the nurses were and why had they not been called to the NCM
to be held to account? The NCM said they could and have been proactive
with regards to the nurses on the television programme. However, afterwards
it was disclosed that the only nurse who had been called before them
for disciplinary procedures was the under-cover nurse who had helped
to expose the bad nursing. If this is the case, then it is disgraceful
for this nurse was being very public -spirited.
case was raised where the nurses had given very bad/negligent care to
a patient and when the relative announced they were to make a formal
nurses issued a letter the next day accusing the relative of 'aggressive
and verbal abusive behaviour and if this did not stop she and the family
be refused admittance.' The relative now had 'Zero Tolerance' written
in her notes. This was considered appalling that nurses could misuse
'Zero Tolerance' Orders in this way in order to bully and intimate
and their families. The NMC said this would not come under their remit.
was emphasised that patients did not wish for severe sanctions but
if standards were to be improved it was vital that any complaint or criticism
was taken seriously and acted upon and poorly behaving nurses should
be reprimanded/disciplined in some way.
12th: Important Teleconference with Patients For Patient Safety
( PFPS) World Health Organisation -
wrote 'thank you' letter to Herr Florenz on behalf of the iatrogenic
patients and their families in the UK for the support he had given to the IEU-Alliance.
SIN expressed its delight that SIN's 'Aims & Objectives', having been incorporated
inro the IEU-Alliance July 2005 Declaration, had now reached the European
and IEU-Alliance are listed on Global Directory for IAPO (International Association
of Patient Organisations)
member at a Trust Hospital for a meeting regards to complaint.The
husband of member had been treated very badly and when she announced
make a formal complaint the nurses retaliated the next day by issuing
her with a letter accusing HER of aggressive behaviour and verbal abuse
and if this continued neither she nor her family would be admitted to
the Ward. She also discovered that she had 'Zero Tolerance' written
on her records and had been told if she complained again the Police might
be called in. SIN thinks this is outrageous and is intending to write
up an account of this member's experience. Why should bad nurses be allowed
to bully patients in this way and abuse these 'Zero Tolerance ' orders?
received letter from Herr Karl - Heinz Florenz ( European Parliament) confirming
that he is willing
the IEU-Alliance and its July 2005 Declaration and will try to obtain a meeting
with Officials involved in improving Patient Safety at the European Parliament.
letters to: Committee on Constitutional Affairs, all members of The Health
Select Committee and to
Sarah Gidley. Liberal Democrats, Andrew Lansley ( Conservative) etc. with
regards to the Redress Bill.
to Westminster 6th July meeting with Sandra Gidley,
Health Minister for the Liberal Democrats, organised by AvMA for
discussion of the amendment to the Redress
Bill. The Amendment is to introduce medico-litigation
lawyers into negotiations for settlements BELOW £20,000 compensation.
The Redress Bill has a ridiculously low capping of £20,000
which had been promoted by the medico-legal Lobby ( medical --errors
are a megabucks money
making activity for everyone except the damaged patient). SIN argued
against this because it is unnecessaryat such a low capping and
the Amendment would increase cost by £40 mill. John
Barron MP from the Conservatives also
See more detailed account under " Our Comments".
a Conference organised by AvMA in London "The Patients' Agenda for Safety
& Justice" . This was a very interesting Conference and there were
several self-help patient groups attending - and many very good presentations
were heard. SIN held similar Conferences as long ago as September
1999 & April 2002. It is vital that a genuine, independent patient's
voice is heard and ideas implemented. SIN came up with its 'Aims
& Objectives' in July 1999 and isgratified that the IEU-Alliance has
adopted and endorsed these.
April, co-ordinator of the IEU-Alliance presented the IEU-Declaration to
Mr. Hoogervorst, Minister for Health Netherlands during a Health Conference
in Amsterdam. Further details + photos see ' our comments'
Brussels with other members of the IEU-Alliance to meet with Karl-Heinz
Florenz Chair of the Commission for Public Health, Environment &
Food Protection European Parliament. The IEU Declaration was
delivered. More details + photos see 'our comments'
Fourth Convention of the IEU-Alliance in Strasbourg. Meetings were arranged
with the Directorate General III - Social Cohesion Depart. of Health
of the Council of Europe and and with Mr. John Bowis MEP, former Minister
for Health UK, of the European Parliament and member of the Health Commission
when the IEU Declaration was delivered. More on these meetings + photos
can be seen in 'our comments' in the menu.
to attend Patient Safety Conference in Birmingham organised by NPSA (National
Patient Safety Agency ) Wednesday & Thursday 1st. & 2nd. February
Netherlands) meeting with WHO representative in Copenhagen.
the need for dialogue with health professionals, government officials
and politicians to change the system. Presented with copies of IEU-Alliance
the SIN- NL ( Netherlands) branch of the IEU-Alliance attended Conference
on Medical Ethics in Copenhagen. She was invited to give a 15 mins
power-point presentation on the consequences of medical errors on the patient
and the need to improve the system by dialogue with health professionals.
This presentation was well received.
of the IEU-Alliance Declaration into several languages: German, Dutch,
French, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, Turkish etc. The IEU - Alliance's
influence is now European and Global. Medical errors and the traumatic
consequences to patients are universal. The World Health Organisation
has recognised this and has set up a Patient Safety Alliance Committee.
Copies of the IEU-Alliance Declaration distributed at Conference.
November to Wednesday 30th November SIN invited to attend the Patient Safety
Summit, London held under the auspices of Prime Minister Blair's
Presidency of the EU and run in conjunction with the World Health
Organisation ( WHO). This Summit was chaired by the Chief Medical
Officer of the UK (Sir Liam Donaldson). Other members
of the IEU-Alliance also attended. It was a most successful Summit
- details to be found in 'Our Comments' and on the IEU-Alliance website.
28th November, members of the IEU-Alliance had meeting with
IAPO ((International Association of Patient Organisations)
28th November, Delivered signed copies of the IEU-Alliance Declaration
to Downing Street ( Prime Minister Blair as President of the EU)
and to Department of Health ( Minister for Patient Safety, Mrs. Jane Kennedy
and the CMO, Sir Liam Donaldson) Photos etc. in 'Our Comments' and
on IEU-Alliance website.
Convention took place on the Sunday 27th November in London. To view
photos and more information connect to www.ieu-alliance.org
Pauline Philip, Head of the WHO Alliance for Patient Safety, Department
of Health SIN was delighted to have this opportunity to be able
to discuss its ideas on how Patient Safety can be improved. A copy
of the IEU-Alliance Declaration was handed to Mrs. Philip, stating
that Patients' Rights should now be in Statute.
NPSA , London for presentations by: NCAS ( Clinical Assessment Service-
only used by health institutions & health professionals) COREC ( Central
Organisation for Research Ethics Committee). The conclusion after discussions
was that the patients' voice had a part to play in all of these organisations.
Invited as guests
to Health Service Journal Awards Evening at the London Hilton.
meeting in London organised by AVMA to discuss the Redress Bill
which is having its first reading. SIN believes this is very disappointing
and is a wonderful opportunity which has been missed to bring in a realistic
Victim's Compensation Fund. A capping of £20,000 is much too low
and the 'status quo' remains. The law courts are no place for ill patients
to haggle over what has gone wrong with their care. Especially when the
hospitals/ health authority lawyers are all too aware of what has actually
for the Third Convention of the IEU Alliance in London on 27th November,
The IEU -Alliance
website is now operating: www.ieu-alliance.org
Invited to Workshop
run by the HealthCare Commission in London." What do Patients
patients wanted the following: Cleanliness; good clinical care; short waiting
lists; confidentiality; privacy ( an end to the mixed bed wards); accurate
record keeping. SIN was able to add coming from the perspective of the
damaged patient: when an error occurs there should be open, honest and
full disclosure irrespective of legal liability, the patient should
be involved in the investigation into the medical error and genuine
remedial care should be assured. Such workshops have real value : the patients
are allowed their 'say' and this is real empowerment if the patients' suggestions
are acted on.
the President of ESQH ( European Society for Quality Healthcare).
SIN explained our 'Aims & Objectives' in order to protect and
improve patient safety, and the need for Patients' Rights in Statute (
IEU - Alliance)
AGM of the NPSA. The NPSA is the first Agency to begin to record and
categorise medical errors in a systematic way. This is the first and most
important step to establishing the cause of medical errors
and how incidents can be reduced.This, unfortunately , is anonymous at
the moment. [ Read SIN's publication "The Removal of anonymity in
the Recording of Adverse Medical Incidents in the Interests of Patient
Safety] The NPSA is to be congratulated for involving patients
& the public with their related experience in their work and
the support given to patients
for next IEU Convention in London
For Public Policy Seminar on : "Patient Led NHS" . Representatives
from the Department of Health, the National Patient Safety Agency, Which,
clinicians and other interested parties. Various topics were discussed
: CHOICE - ideally this is a laudable aim to give patients choice
of consultant and hospital etc. ( The iatrogenic patient has little or
no choice for care is often withheld because of potential litigation).
MEDICAL RECORDS: - acknowledged they are not free from errors, therefore
problem will increase if transferred to Electronic Data Base.( Errors
in medical records are a particular problem with iatrogenic patients -
transference to Electronic Data Base without corrections would be disastrous).
Two major foci within the health service: the health professional &
the medico-legal bods ( Risk Managers). ( Iatrogenic patients fall between
the two - no protection - no or little care because seen as potential litigants).
Minutes of July
Convention of IEU Alliancein
Utrecht , Netherlands. In all six countries were represented. Declaration
was signed, future plans were discussed.
for the second convention of IEU ( Iatrogenic
Europe Unite) - meeting of European Patient
Support Groups to take place in July. ( Read November 2004 & see 'Our
Conference in London on:
Clinical Negligence In the NHS - getting it right when things go wrong"
was a very interesting Conference and there is an awareness that there
is a need for the NHS to be more open & honest when medical
mistakes happen. Certainly, there are support systems in place for health
professionals who require counselling after a serious medical error. SIN
raises the question about the need for the damaged patient and bereaved
relatives to receive counselling. Usually, the innocent iatrogenic victim
is left in trauma and finds themselves caught up in an inhumane 'denial
& cover-up culture', can be 'blacklisted' when genuine
specialist medical care is withheld and receives no counselling whatsoever.
raised the question as to whether a Risk Manager at a hospital Trust if
it were discovered that the Trust were liable for serious damage - would
the patient be informed or would the Trust insist that the patient starts
legal proceedings? ( In our view this a total waste of money and time and
is unethical ). SIN was told that permission would be sought form the Executive
of the Trust and possibly the NHS Litigation Authority. SIN suspects that
if the amount of justifiable compensation was large - then the Trust would
be unlikely to release this information.
also made the point that the capping of £20,000 on the 'Victim's
Compensation Fund', which is likely to be introduced this parliament was
much too low. In the CMO's consultative document 'Making Amends'
a capping of £30,000 was suggested - SIN dismissed this as being
to olow and suggested sums in the region of several hundred thousand up
to £1 mill for the most serious cases . Although the mantra is that
'everyone must have a right to go to court' - the actuality is that extremely
few people can afford to go to court. SIN understands that AVMA suggested
the capping was reduced to £20,000.
maintains that health professionals & the Risk Manages ( lawyers) are
perfectly aware of the truth of the situation and damaged patients have
a right to be informed of the damage sustained. SIN also refutes the idea
that serious damage ( i.e. large compensation) is necessarily complex and
therefore such cases MUST go to law. Actually, the cause of serious damage
can be extremely simple. If the £20.000 cap is kept then most patients
will have no alternative than to go to law to prove they have been damaged
and that the cause was negligence. The status quo will prevail. Obviously
legal bods will be very keen to keep the capping at a low level
- more work for them.
must be remembered is that as long as the patient is perceived as being
a potential litigant and has a price tag of compensation around his/her
neck - that patient will be unable to access genuine medical care. Once
a potential litigant - always a potential litigant.This is unacceptable
and must surely be unlawfu?
conference was arranged by AVMA
Forum at NPSA in London
Discussion on the best
means of indentifying patients in hospital. The wrist band is the most
obvious one and the discussion then moved to the data that should be on
the wrist band and ways of encouraging patients not to remove them.
SIN submitted a full page
statement in the House Magazine. This was promoting the need for a
Compensation Fund' and demanding that patient's rights must be in
SIN was delighted to
be invited to give a one hour PowerPoint Presentation to a Forum of NHS
personnel. The Forum consisted of Clinical Governance Officers, Risk
Managers and health professionals. The title of the presentation
was : "The ( iatrogenic) Patient's Perspective" The main
title of the event was: " Patient Safety" there were several other talks
and the Forum lasted for the whole day.
After SIN had finished there
was spontaneous applause. One delegate came up afterwards and said: "That
was absolutely brilliant! I agree with everything you are saying. You must
keep on saying it". another delegate said that" Gillian &
Margaret are speaking to the 'converted' " .
It was gratifying that health
professionals are being encouraged to come forward when mistakes have been
made. The needs of the damaged patient must be paramount.
Tried to help a badly
damaged iatrogenic patient in Europe whilst she was in hospital
. She was unable to obtain any diagnostic tests. Mysteriously she was under
the care of a Cancer specialist although her problems were neurological.
Inexplicably, the Cancer specialist wrote a statement that she had had
a colonoscopy ( untrue) - which was negative. Presumably, this was showing
that the hospital was giving her (imaginary ) tests and also this
test, that never took place, was to explain why she was under an oconologist
when she should have been under the care of a neurologist. The patient
protested that she was not getting the care to which she had a right and
SIN tried to speak with the Chief Executive. This was at first agreed and
a time arranged, however, the C.E. was never available. Eventually the
patient was removed from the hospital by the police.!!!
Gillian & other members of SIN have been escorted off the premises
of British hospitals by hospital security guards and have been refused
access to specialist advice or care. One has even been informed by a doctor
that they will not be getting medical care BECAUSE they are involved in
legal action. This doctor made sure there were no witnesses to this statement.
We believe that this was a criminal offence on the part of this doctor.)!!
European countries appear
to be no better than the UK in facing up to the problem of medical errors
and ensuring that iatrogenic patients are given the care to which they
have a right. This is why there has been a coming together of patient
support groups in Europe- see month of November 2004
SIN was asked by
ITV News to give a short interview on SIN's response to Dame Janet
Smith's damning report on the GMC re: Shipman.. SIN made the point that
many of our members have tried to hold incompetent doctors to account by
submitting cases to the GMC, and in spite of copious evidential proof -
no one had been successful. ( SIN intends to produce
a short article on the GMC & our disappointing experience of
this dysfunctional body). SIN believes that
the Smith Inquiry should have been wider ranging and should have included
many other unsuccessful cases which patients have submitted over the last
momentous meeting took place in North Germany on 21st. of this month. This
First Convention of Patient Groups was professionally and generously hosted
by our North German colleagues & friends, allowing a coming together
of Support Groups for the Victims of Medical Errors. There were six countries
represented. Each group spoke about similar experiences and trauma.
was a remarkable unity of purpose and empathy between the groups. It was
decided to meet again and to produce a Declaration for the protection of
damaged patients.. Iatrogenic Europe Unite
(IEU) came into being.( see report in 'Our
at NPSA, London, to discuss the Electronic Data Form ( E-Form) for
logging in medical errors over the internet. SIN had had a previous
meeting in March 2003 when we had gone into this subject in detail.
has always maintained that the E-Form for patients should be just as structured
as it is for health professionals. The time/day/month on which the error
occurred. The grade of doctor/ health professional; the exact speciality
of medicine; whether it was a physician /surgeon; and the types of
medical error should be categorised. There should always be room
left for patients to add their comments. We also advised that the
questions about medical records should be available e.g.. have you
been able to obtain all your medical records? if not- then what is missing?
etc./ have documents /test results been changed to you knowledge?
this particular meeting it appeared that all the 'advice' SIN had given
in March 2003 had been ignored. A new group of young people were working
on this topic. Whilst the E-Form for health professionals to complete
( optional) would be very structured - the patient's E-Form was 'unstructured'
and patients were encourage to 'write their story',. We believe that ,
because the experience of iatrogenic patients becomes very long & tortuous
- often deliberately confused by health professionals - the 'story' (we
prefer an 'account') will easily degenerate into a long 'rigmarole'. We
believe this would not lend itself to analysis - and would be virtually
useless. (We hope this is not the real purpose). One so called patient
representative at the discussion was determined to leave the patient's
E-Form as a blank series of pages. Any attempt by SIN to introduce a structured
layout was met by - 'Too prescriptive'. & ' Joe public would
not understand the question' . This was a nonsense. No one objected to
the health professional's E-Form being structured. Common sense
dictates that to enable meaningful data to be extracted - a structure is
required. SIN continues to vigorously advocate: "The Removal of Anonymity
in the Recording of Adverse Medical Incidents in the Interests of Patient
Safety. Please read our document on this topic - found in 'publications'.
at NPSA , London to discuss progress. SIN again reiterated the importance
of the removal of anonymity in the recording of Adverse Medical Incidents
in the Interests of Patient Safety. Handed in a second copy of our document
to the NPSA - this time to the Deputy Director of PEPI ( Patient Experience
& Public Involvement). Also, again raised the problem of seriously
damaged patients being 'blacklisted' for genuine specialist medical care.
of interesting presentations were given to us. Again we challenged the
concept of the 'no blame culture' - SIN believes that the medical
profession has had a 'no blame culture' for 50 years. Sensible acknowledgments
of mistakes with sensible accountability MUST be brought in. SIN
also refuted once again the analogous comparison with the aviation industry
where no one is forced to report errors or incompetence but a very high
level of reporting is done voluntarily. It is obvious that
when one's own life is at risk one will report on oneself and one's colleagues
as well as on faulty equipment. Heath professionals' lives are not at risk.
They have the option of walking away when a medical error has left
someone dead or badly maimed - this is analogous to a 'hit & run' motorist.
This cannot be acceptable. Only 3% of errors are being reported,
although, at least 10% would be expected according to research. SIN is
concerned that Patient reporting of medical errors is not given the same
importance as those that come from health professionals and Trusts.
Radio Five Live . Gillian took part in a discussion programme with Lord
Hunt , a doctor from Doctors Net, a GP from BMA & Mr. Tony Maude who
has developed a computer programme for diagnosing illness from symptoms.
The title of the programme was 'Mis-Diagnosis'. We hope to have a pre-recording
of Gillian answering questions put to her by Radio 5 Live before the programme,
on the website shortly.
statement in "The Parliamentary Monitor" appeared on the same page
as an article on the previous Secretary of State for
Health, Mr. Alan Milburn and the present Secretary for Health , Mr. John
Read: "The Plight of the Iatrogenic Patient."
page statement of SIN appears in "The House Magazine", arguing for a
"A Victim's Compensation Fund".
7 eleven pages: " Reforming the NHS Complaints Procedure : Consultation
upon Draft Regulations" submitted to the Department of Health.
In August 1999 SIN had produced a critique on the 1996 NHS Complaints Procedure
and came to the conclusion that it was a total farce and was a confidence
trick played on the patient at the tax-payers expense. Please read "
The Emperor Has No Clothes".
are sorry to say that the new Complaints Procedure seems just as bad, if
not worse. There now appears to be no 'clinical assessor' - anyway it is
not apparent at what point he/she is brought in. This makes sense to those
who do not wish to have accountability, because if
a doctor does not assess the patient's claim of sub-standard care -
no conclusion can be made. The Health Service Commissioner seems to be
still the final arbiter - and by law (1993 Act) he is unable to deal with
anything that is serious eough to go to law i.e. serious iatrogenic damage.This
is against the Human Rights Act Article 6
read Paper 7 . At the conclusion we asked SEVEN pertinent questions
20. 1 to 20.7. We have received no answers from the Department of Health!.
In our conclusion we wrote:
It must be recognised that, with an estimated 100,000 iatrogenic deaths
and injury occurring every year in the UK, it is reasonable too assume
that the vast majority of complainants who engage in he NHS Complaints
Procedure will have been subjected to some kind of iatrogenic damage. These
are some of the most vulnerable and traumatised people in the NHS system.
These innocent victims must not be regarded by the Health Care Providers
as potential litigants and so categorised as adversaries.
The question must be asked: what is the new NHS Complaints Procedure devised
to achieve? Is it constructed to give honest and transparent
disclosure of iatrogenic damage regardless of any potential liability
of the Health Care Provider? Or is it created to obstruct and conceal the
results of medical errors and substandard care in order to protect the
health professional and the system? If it is the latter, then there has
been no change in policy towards innocent victims of iatrogenic damage.
It is our opinion that the public is demanding an open and honest culture
of accountability , where mistakes are acknowledged and given a thorough
causal analysis; where priority is given to caring for and counselling
of the iatrogenically damaged patient....."
6 : "Making Amends: a Consultation Paper Setting out Proposals for reforming
Clinical Negligence in the National Health Service" . Submitted to
the Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Sir Liam Donaldson. Paper published on
the Department of Health website. SIN
is very pleased with the title : "Making Amends" (to the damaged
patient). SIN is delighted that the idea of a Victim's Compensation
Fund is being considered seriously at last.
is not in favour of the TORTS continuing to dominate medical
in particular the illogical Bolam Tort & Sideway ( causation)
. One example of how illogical and unjust these torts are is that in one
case heard at the Royal Courts of Justice within the last two years, there
were 5 instances of clinical negligence that had affected the patient (
Bolam Test)- anyone of which could have caused the death. However, it was
impossible to prove causation - i.e. to prove which one of the incidents
of clinical negligence actually caused the death of the young
patient. In fact the court was spoilt for choice - incredibly the litigant
lost the case!!!. SIN believes that the British public would be shocked
to hear of such inconceivable injustice.
openness & honesty prevailed the Courts would not be needed. Who is
in favour of the 'Courts & Torts' ? - well not surprising
- the MDU ( Medical Defence Union ) The Medical Protection Society ( MPS)
& all the medical- legal lobby.Lord Woolf, in his inaugural lecture
,17th January 2001, heavily critised the medico- legal route.(
Read 'Bye, Bye Bolam in 'Our Comments')
believes that the capping for a Victim's Compensation Fund case that
can be decided out of Court should not be as low as £20,000 /£30,000
this is much too low. THis will mean that the status quo will continue
and most cases will have to go to the useless & unnecessary adversarial
legal dispute. The Trusts , the health professionals, the Risk Managers
& indeed the NHS Litigation Authority are all aware of the truth and
their legal liability -for these institutions hold all the medical
evidence. SIN believes that the Victim Compensation Fund should go as high
as £250,000 - £500,000 in the most serious cases of disability
( e.g. paralysis & lack of economic livelihood) A lump
sum should be given & then any disability payments should be made to
which the iatrogenic patient has a right. We believe in truth , honesty
The only people who gain from the legal cases
are the lawyers. Obviously, if someone wishes to go to law, then that would
be their right. We believe that given (i)) the Truth about their
medical condition ( ii) causal analysis of what went wrong (iii) genuine
remedial medical care (iii) reasonable compensation- then most people would
wish to choose this and to get on with their lives, than be involved in
a along, expensive, legal wrangle involving unjust Torts.
believes that compensation should be paid against a National Tariff - as
it is done in the case of car accidents.
does not believe that a Victim's Compensation Fund would prove any more
expensive in the long term than the present inequitable system. At
least the money would be going into the pockets of the iatrogenic patients
and not into the lawyers' pockets. SIN has been told that from the £billions
spent annually on medical litigation and only a tiny proportion of seriously
damaged patients receive a fraction of this huge amount - about 10%!!.
also believes that the committee that was looking at the Victim's
Compensation Fund was dominated by medico-legal people . It appears
that 75% were from the Legal -lobby. Since medical litigation is a £billion
annual industry it is unlikely that the legal lobby will wish to change
the status quo. SIN also believes that AVMA ( Arnold Simonovitch ) does
not represent damaged patients - he represents and supports the LEGAL
ROUTE. He is himself a barrister.
read this Paper & the preceding one " Balancing the Scales"
with the Director of Patient Experience & Public Involvement, NPSA
London, to discuss progress and new initiatives.
5: " Case for the Removal of Anonymity in Recording of Adverse Medical
Incidents in the Interest of Patient Safety".
At the moment the NPSA ( which has a large number of senior consultants
acting as advisers) records medical errors voluntarily
given by health professionals and from patients - but all of this is done
Therefore, it would be impossible to stop another Shipman,Ledward
or Neale. Nor is the NPSA able to help the patient who had been seriously
damaged and ensure they received remedial care - these patients could not
be identified. Nor could the incompetent or negligent doctor be identified
- so no help could be given. Remember,
the dangerous plight of the iatrogenic patient - once seriously damaged,
these patients are deliberately blacklisted - it is unlikely they
will be able to access further genuine specialist care!
believes that this is unacceptable - please read this Paper, to be found
in 'Publications'. It
is time to put the needs of the patient FIRST.
from the Chief Medical Officer to comment on his consultative document
: "Making Amends".
The Department of Health is considering setting up a victim's compensation
with Director of Patient Experience and Public Involvement at NPSA, London
with six members of SIN to discuss the construction of an Electronic Data
Form for logging in medical errors over the internet. We believe that the
idea of compiling a data base of medical errors came form SIN's Paper 2
submitted in June 2000 to BRI Inquiry.
was a very good team form the NPSA who discussed such matters with
SIN for the whole day. Our members stressed that the E-Form must be structured:
on which medical error occurred, the time, day , month
and whether it was a weekend or holiday. The rank of the
health professional involved. Place of medical error Name of
Trust, ward, A&E ,ambulance etc). Medical Specialty.
of medical error ( misdiagnosis, wrong surgery, wrong drugs ,wrong
dosage, wrong test, equipment failure etc. etc. ) The reaction
of health professionals/ Trust to being informed about the medical
error), the state of medical records ( changed? missing? not available
?), the treatment of iatrogenic patient - were they told the truth
? were they given remedial care? etc.
believes that it is essential to collate this information. The distress,
trauma and abuse received by the innocent victim of a medical error MUST
with the Director of Patient Experience & Public Involvement (PEPI)
National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) London. To discuss if SIN could
have any in-put into the work of the NPSA. Discovered that all logging
of medical errors must be 'anonymous'
article appeared in The SUN, January 3rd, 2003. It was about the victimisation
of 'whistle-blowers' in the NHS - both doctors & patients. its heading
was : "Victimised" . SIN maintains that patients who complain about
sub-standard care are some of the best whistle-blowers. In the article
there were three doctors: an anaesthetist ( Stephen Bolsin
)who exposed the scandal of the substandard cardio-thoraxic surgery
of babies in Bristol Royal Infirmary; a General Practitioner ( Phil Hammond)
and a female surgeon. All had problems because they had whistle-blown
& the anaesthetist had lost his job and had been unable to find
another post in the UK and had been forced to go to Australia and the surgeon
had been suspended.
patient was Gillian from SIN who had complained ( whistle-blown ) against
her substandard cardiac care , in fact her total lack of specialist cardiac
care. SIN believes that all whistleblowers - health professionals
and patients receive the same appalling treatment: health professionals
get a character assassination and lose their jobs; patients get a character
assassination and put their health care in jeopardy.
is now an Act that is supposed to protect whistl-blowers. SIN believes
that the Act states that a doctor must not 'whistle-blow' out of
malice. How on earth can you prove that you are not being malicious?
Anyway, whether someone is being malicious or not, is totally irrelevant
- the important point is - is the doctor(s) who is being reported
dangerously incompetent or negligent i.e. doing patients harm?
a meeting with Chief Executive & Medical Director in support of patient
who was unable to obtain medical care.
BMA/BMJ Conference in London : " The way forward after the BRI Inquiry"Spoke
out on behalf of damaged patients.
some consultants do not wish for any medical information to be given out
over the Internet.!! One can only surmise that such consultants have
little confidence in their own abilities and do not wish to be challenged
by the patients. Also of course, if medical information was withdrawn from
the internet there would be greater difficulty in proving that a medical
error had occurred. SIN has noticed that there are more and more 'extracts
not available' on the Pubmed site and many internet sites are for 'subscribers
pointed out that there may at times be a 'Systems failure' that causes
serious iatrogenic damage, but most times the medical errors occur because
of a human failure on the part of a medical professional(s) SIN believes
that :" personal responsibility is a moral obligation"
was assured that the medical profession was changing - but 'You ( the
patients) must keep up the pressure'. It
would seem that everyone forgets that we, the patients, are indeed patients
and we are ill, some of us very seriously. Would that more doctors
would speak out and support us openly.
page statement in the "House Magazine" to coincide with the Labour
Party Conference September 30th 2002. Article entitled: "SIN Rife
in the NHS"
public consultation of the " Organ Retention Commission" meeting in Nottingham.
many harrowing stories from mothers whose dead babies had had their
reproductive organs removed and their tongues cut out for research purposes
- without their permission or knowledge. The question that must be
raised is, that in addition to research, are organs being removed
from bodies in order to cover-up medical errors and negligence? In other
words , evidence is being deliberately removed. Is not this
appeared in "The House magazine" - The Lord's Picture Guide- April 28th
appeared in the House magazine entitled : "The Plight of the Iatrogenic
Patient" in issue dated April 22nd 2002 which was concerned about Public
magazine is distributed amongst MPs civil servants, Secretaries of State
of SIN's Demonstration also appeared on " Net Doctor" (www.Netdoctor.co.uk)
of SIN's Demonstration appeared in BBC TV Archives 15th April 2002
London Demonstration outside the Department of Health & delivered a
statement & petition to Prime Minister Blair and to the Chief Medical
Officer. Mr. Blair's Office wrote to say
that all our papers were sent over to the Department of Health, although
they were instructed to retain them. So, Mr. Blair remains in ignorance
of the abuse of patients under his priministerial watch! No wonder he can
go on smiling! Please see website for photos
& other information.
London Conference. See photos on website.
4 " The Consequences of Presumed Consent: Organ Retention".
The problem seems to be that the state acts as though it owns the body.
SIN believes that no organ/tissue can be removed from a body ( dead
or alive) without the consent of the patient or relatives. Please
read this Paper - on our section'Publications'
for Health Improvements (CHI) consultative meeting in Leeds. About
13 members of SIN were down to attend this meeting. however, only about
four were officially registered by CHI. Why was this? SIN was the largest
patient group there.
were many representatives of CHCs . Many of these were aware that
iatrogenic patients were having problems in accessing specialist
medical care, and yet nothing was reported. There were a few health
professionals. CHI officials seemed very uneasy with SIN. SIN is very,
very disappointed with CHI. It has, in our opinion been largely a
waste of money.
brave patients have come forward to describe what amounts to abuse and
denial of medical care. In fact we know that some of the accounts were
recognised by the CHI recorders as being criminal. Although CHI is bound
to report anything criminal to the police - none of the cases were reported.
In fact SIN realises that none of the appalling accounts of patient abuse
were ever read by the Clinical Assessors - presumably because lawfully
they, the clinical assessors, would have been obliged to report their malpractising
colleagues to the GMC or the police. Obviously,not one of them wished
to do that. So patients who were being denied care were just left in that
believe that CHI has totally failed the damaged patient and the public
and many of their reports are, in our opinion,a waste of the paper they
are printed on.
to government consultative paper: "Clinical Negligence : what are the
issues and the options for reform?" Submitted Paper 3: "Balancing
the Scales : the case for a Victim's Compensation Fund" Please
read Paper on website under "Publications"
meeting for improvements of paediatric cardio-thoracic surgery in London.
meeting for discussion on improvements for paediatric cardio-thoracic surgery
Inquiry findings published in London. The recommendations are
SIN believes that here was a huge opportunity missed. The Second
Phase of the Inquiry - dealing with the whole of the NHS -
was in our opinion just as important as the original Inquiry, if not more
believes that there should have been an opportunity for damaged patients
to come foreword and relate the flaws and abuse they had received at
the hands of the system. Just as the Health Select Committee had received
the reports in June/July 1999 of the abuse of iatrogenic patients in the
UK. This would have been a wonderful chance to explode the
scandal of the 'denial & cover-up culture ' endemic to
the NHS which has caused so much unnecessary sufferings and has been
the cause of the lowering of medical standards in this country. Perhaps
the truth was too unpalatable?
unsolicited a £50 donation from a journalist because the work of
SIN is considered so important.
obtained for a sick member a consultation with a TB specailist and TB drugs.(
See Anne's Case)
news conference for the report of the Brompton & Harefield Inquiry
into paediatric cardiac surgery in London. In our opinion this was
a complete whitewash - please see wbesite
- photos & report of demonstration .
sick patient in London hosptial. Took photos of TB skin Test (
Anne case see website)
appeared in TV programme Channel 4 "Power House" to advocate for a victim's
compensation fund for patients who have been damaged through no fault of
BMA/BMJ Conference in London : "Ensuring Quality Care". Spoke
out on behalf of iatrogenic patients.
meeting with doctor from Health Authority 's Public Health Laboratories
patient's own GP. Verbal acknowledgment that the patient had symptom of
abdominal TB!!( Anne's Case)
letters re: sick member. Contacted CHI, Health Authority, & MP. Wrote
Paper 2 submitted on behalf of the damaged patient was published on the
website launched 10th July : www.sin-medicalmistakes.org
Paper 2 entitled : "The patient's Voice For Equity" to BRI Inquiry.
was represented at a protest meeting in London with a number of other patient
submitted a letter to Department of Health re: seriously ill patient (
see Anne's case on website).
one of the CHI Road shows in Leeds and again spoke out on behalf of iatrogenic
patients. There were several CHCs present - what have they ever done
to safe guard the damaged patient, although they are officially known
as the 'patient's watchdog'? They have little power, and in our experience
are not confidential since they are under the authority of the Regional
Office. One Medical Director asked Dr Peter Homa, Director of CHI,
would any of the doctors lose their jobs because of a CHI 'inspection'
They were assured that this would not happen. However, it was pointed out
to Dr Homa by SIN, that many seriously damaged patients lose their
economic livelihoods - their jobs - because of medical errors, but
none of the medical profession seems to be concerned about this, or willing
to accept any responsibility.
was a great deal of hostility shown to SIN by some of the professionals
and regional administrators.SIN pointed out to one doctor that surely it
would have been better for Ledward to have been reported to the GMC many
years ago, it having taken 18 years before he was struck off. Many
of his colleagues were aware of his incompetent surgery during this time.
If this had happened, perhaps Ledward would have been retrained, would
have become a reasonable surgeon . Just think how many women would not
have had their lives ruined because of this one man ?
at CHI in London Offices. Presented the awful trauma of the sufferings
of the iatrogenic patient. Told it would take at least 5 years to change
the culture, SIN replied that patients could not wait that long - we need
care NOW! Did not gain the impression that anyone at CHI was particualry
bothered about the situation of damaged patients and that they were not
able to access genuine specialist medical care.
meeting at Brompton & Harefield Inquiry into poor standards in paediatric
cardio-thoracic surgery - patient submission.
in 'Break Away' magazine - Gillian & misdiagnosis of cardiac condition.
received many letters of similar complaints from women whose chest pains
were routinely ignored.
letter ( and only letter) published in National Newspaper - the Express!
over the years SIN has written many letters in particular to the Telegraph,
the Times & the Sunday Times,. In spite of 'medical errors' and the
resulting effect of patients being such an important topic - not
one of letters was published. Why not? Judge for yourselves - some
these unpublished letters appear on our website. Does the topic 'medical
errors & patients' have a D-notice attached to them? Or are 'D -notices'
just a myth in our democratic society?
BMA/BMJ conference on 'Medical Errors' and spoke on behalf of the iatrogenic
patient. Asked Prof. Charles Vincent ( recent research into Medical
Errors and their frequency) whether he would like to be informed if he
had been seriously damaged by a medical error. His answer was a most emphatic
also met Prof. Lucien Leape from the USA who is spearheading the cultural
change necessary for the medical profession to be open & honest
to the patient. about serious medical errors in the USA. He tapped Gillian
on the shoulder and said: " Are you the SIN lady? Because I ,too, am a
SINNER! How are we going to get the culture to change - that is the problem?".
It was great to know that SIN has an ally in Prof.Leape who is sympathetic
to what we are trying to achieve.
& Objectives' published on the BRI Inquiry website. These were first
submitted in October 1999 - it took much argument to get them put
on the website! Why?
the last public Seminar of the Bristol Royal Inquiry which was held in
Bristol. SIN, with several members, travelled all the way down to Bristol
to be there, incidentally at our own not inconsiderable cost!
SIN and two whistle-blowing doctors who had contacted SIN for assistance
- Prof. Peter Dawson & Dr. Anil Jain - had written independently
to the Seminar requesting that SIN & the two doctors should make up
part of this 'public' seminar. Obviously SIN & the two doctors were
well qualified to take part in such a Seminar. This request was refused
by the BRI Committee.
the event the Seminar consisted of people who had obviously had very little
personal experience of the trauma of medical damage. Michaela Willis represented
such patients but obviously had a very narrow experience being only
involved with the BRI Inquiry - she in fact said very little. The seminar
was chaired by a man from the BBC - he would have left totally ignorant
of the real nature and state of medical errors in the UK. SIN & its
members considered the Seminar to be a farce - we wished we had all stood
up and denounced it there and then - but we were too polite!
Committee at the Seminar invited questions from the public.
We spent the lunch break formulating several questions and
submitted them. In the afternoon we were informed that the
questions would now not be taken. The civil servants
seemed very nervous of our presence & we were not allowed to make any
contact with the members who had formed the seminar. In fact civil servants
trailed around after us as we tried to make contact. This was altogether
very disappointing.The authentic voice of the damaged patient was not heard!
for two whistle-blowing doctors. Two doctors had made contact with
SIN and gave their support to the aims of SIN. Both doctors had been
suspended from their posts after alerting their Line Managers, in accordance
with protocol, to the fact that patient's were in jeopardy because of incompetence
of a colleague and inadequate procedures.. In both cases the Trust was
hostile to them. One Chief Executive actively encouraged colleagues to
submit written derogatory remarks. The Regional Offices were also hostile
and in one case spent over £100,000 taking (un)lawful action in the
High Courts - actions were lost - a profligate waste of public money! Both
doctors lost their positions and worked on 6 monthly contracts. SIN, on
request, wrote a letter to the Health Select Committee on their behalf
and to the MP. ( Both doctors received publicity in the media: newspapers,
Radio & TV ).
newspaper made contact ( Telegraph). Spent week discussing cases -
sent in information. No follow-up.
made from 'File on Four' BBC Radio 4 - subject was the NHS Complaints
Procedure - no cases used! This in spite of the fact SIN had produced the
most comprehensive critique of this Procedure!
took place in London with a television producer who was interested in producing
a series of programmes on 'medical errors'. This was to be the Channel
4 series. She commended SIN for its professionalism. However, although
a promise was made that there would be further talks - no such talks took
place. The series in the end was dominated by the medical profession
and the effect of medical errors on patients was simply not mentioned.
Imagine 34,000 dying of medical errors every year and 40,000 permanently
and seriously damaged - never a word was spoken of these people and the
fact that most of them are in trauma,having been denied information,
and genuine medical care. This was a great opportunity missed!
with Stephen Thornley, Chief Executive of the Confederation of the NHS
Managers at HQ London.
( British Medical Association & British Medical Journal) held conference
: " Whistle-blowers" . SIN
went as delegates. Doctor after doctor stood up and said they had experienced
difficulty in 'Whistleblowing' ( complaining) about sub-standard care for
patients and claimed that their careers had been put in jeopardy. SIN claimed
that patients were also Whistleblowers and like the doctors they had a
character assassination and had their medical care put in jeopardy!. SIN
also said that they did not understand 'a no blame culture' . SIN wanted
a culture of responsibility and accountability. SIN was applauded by the
doctors and many came up to offer their congratulations.
at Wakefield for members.
Scottish newspaper spent day discussing SIN and patient cases. The promise
of a two page spread was aborted at the last minute - no explanation.
member's request SIN wrote seeking a meeting with the patient & his
medical team to discuss his concerns at the ambiguities of his test results.
Meeting was offered by the Trust.
4 'Woman's Hour' invited SIN to take part in discussion on the NHS Complaints
Procedure with Mr Alan Bedford, Chief Executive of an Health Authority
and spokesman for the Confederation of NHS managers. SIN listed on BBC
Data Base for patient support groups.
with Chair of Health Select Committee & MPs. Submitted the Critique
of the NHS Complaints Procedure & SIN's 'Aims & Objectives'
promoting SIN appeared in the prestigious Sunday newspaper the 'Observer'
24th. October 1999 entitled : "Doctors blacklist dissatisfied patients"
- quote from the Health Select Committee after their Inquiry into Adverse
Medical Incidents & their Outcomes.
in the GP's magazine 'The Pulse' described SIN as a new patient 'watchdog'
Inquiry requested permission for SIN's critique on NHS Complaints Procedure
The Emperor Has No Clothes" to be published on BRI Inquiry website:
Conference of SIN in Birmingham. For the first time six Patient Support
groups met together.
on critique of the NHS Complaints Procedure entitled: The Emperor Has
no Clothes" was submitted to the BRI Inquiry ( Bristol Royal Infirmary)
into the high deaths rates of babies in the cardio-thoracic surgery unit.
This Inquiry was Independent and set up the government.
patient litigant in court.
statements to the Health Select Committee which was holding an Inquiry
into Adverse Medical Incidents & their Outcomes. Nearly
300 submissions were made by patients, showing widespread abuse of the
innocent victims of medical errors. SIN also presented its 'Aims &
set up in November 1998