GIRFT’s litigation work supports NHS Patient Safety Strategy

One of the key objectives from the new NHS Patient Safety Strategy – enhanced learning from litigation – is being supported by the GIRFT programme.

NHS England and NHS Improvement published the strategy last month, aiming to “significantly improve the way we learn, treat staff and involve patients”.

GIRFT is working closely with NHS Resolution on learning from litigation and has recently published best practice guidance based on claims learning in orthopaedic surgery, focusing on the high volume areas of hip and knee arthroplasty.

Our clinical lead for litigation, John Machin, and Chair Professor Tim Briggs wrote a section for the Patient Safety Strategy, highlighting the work of GIRFT in learning from clinical negligence. You can download a copy and read more here.

The GIRFT litigation workstream shares data on litigation claims and their costs with NHS trusts with the aim of working with clinicians and managers to determine how clinical practice could improve and reducing the potential for future litigation.

GIRFT encourages trusts to review claims as serious incidents and triangulate the learning from claims, incidents, complaints and inquests. Clinical staff should be involved in the review of these claims and the lessons learned should be shared in morbidity and mortality meetings as well as other departmental meetings so that no opportunity for learning is missed.

Since implementing the review of claims through the GIRFT orthopaedic visits and the litigation data packs, there has been a year-on-year fall in orthopaedic claims volume.

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