Are ‘gagging Orders’ Hiding The True Cost Of Health-related Negligence?

tags A report by the charity group Action Against Health-related Accidents (AvMA) suggests that the cost of healthcare negligence claims could be in excess of one hundred million pounds per year. However, a current report by Channel 4 Tv and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism suggests that the actual figure is getting ‘covered up’ and could be considerably higher.

Confidentiality clauses

According to the report, about 90% of severance agreements amongst doctors and the NHS include confidentiality clauses. These clauses forbid the physicians to speak out about inadequacies inside the Health Service and deaths and injuries triggered as a direct result of medical negligence. These ‘gagging orders’ are frequently accompanied by substantial sums of funds – in impact, acquiring doctors’ silence. The report states that at least 170 doctors have currently signed these gagging orders to the sum total of about three million pounds. These statistics have been obtained by means of the Freedom of Details Act, although the actual figures, once more, could be much greater as numerous of the doctors contacted failed to respond. Of 71 NHS trusts contacted, 40 revealed that they had spent about three million pounds on confidentiality payouts. A further 31 refused to say just how a lot they had spent on ensuring doctors remained silent.

It is suggested by campaign groups that the NHS will resort to ‘bullying tactics’ to make certain that health-related staff keep their silence, whatever the price. Mike Parker, of the Royal College of Surgeons, said, “The trusts discover one thing upon which they can influence this person and hold them virtually to ransom, and say: ‘You speak up and this will happen’.” These that do choose to take a stand against the NHS can anticipate to face years of expense and uncertainty just before their instances reach court. It seems that most merely adhere to the confidentiality clause to defend their careers and keep away from the financial implications of tackling the NHS in a courtroom.

A bleak image

Combined with a new report by the AvMA which suggests that the NHS has failed to implement the majority of the 57 alerts and suggestions that they have made over the last five years, the final results of Channel 4’s joint investigation paints a bleak picture of the NHS – 1 where the accurate extent of healthcare negligence is getting covered up at the taxpayers’ expense.

These who do want to speak out, regardless of no matter whether they have signed a gagging order or not, are protected by the Public Interest Disclosure Act of 1999. This prevents so-called ‘whistleblowers’ from being victimized or dismissed without having acceptable explanation. This Act was brought into becoming right after a whistleblower’s concerns about the Bristol Royal Infirmary were repeatedly ignored. The final results have been the deaths of 29 babies and kids.

As if to spur on these considering about speaking out, Dr Ramon Niekrash, a consultant urologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in London has recently won a case against NHS managers who attempted to silence him from speaking out against cuts. He stated, “Managers utilized substantial amounts of taxpayers’ cash with no accountability to silence a critic who in actual fact was attempting to defend and support the patient. The taxpayers’ funds hasn’t gone towards medical care it has been spent on silencing me.”

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