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NHS Resolution says it has 4 objectives:
  • Resolve concerns and disputes fairly and effectively
  • Provide analysis and expert knowledge to the healthcare and civil justice systems to drive improvement
  • Deliver interventions and solutions that improve safety and save money
  • To deliver “best value”, developing people, relationships and infrastructure

It says that the rising costs of clinical negligence claims “are a significant concern to the NHS and are unsustainable

As clinical negligence lawyers, we agree to an extent. But, from where we stand, the focus is all wrong.

The NHS or those acting for the NHS could save the NHS a lot of money, if they take the following steps: –
  • Reduce incidences of negligence, through a change of culture (Black Box Thinking) Keep costs down by making early admissions and interim payments to enable rapid rehabilitation and life adjustments
  • Don’t use “hired gun “ experts who give the same opinion in every case of the same nature no matter what the circumstances
  • Talk to us! Tell us what your defence is. Enter into realistic settlement talks and/or mediations as soon as feasibly possible once evidence is gathered
  • If we really have genuine factual and legal issues on which we differ, then let’s get the matter to trial as soon as we can so a judge can decide.

Of course it is recognised that  although there may be tragic consequences, not all adverse incidents are someone’s fault.

Rachel Siganporia, writing in the Association of Personal Injury Lawyer’s journal “PI Focus” in April 2019 says:

“Healthcare professionals do not wake up in the morning and think “I am going to deliberately harm someone today”

This is true unless you are unfortunate enough to come up against a Harold Shipman type health professional.  Generally speaking, they are dedicated women and men who want to do the best they can for those in their care.  They are only human and can be devastated by the consequences of mistakes.

Rachel also comments:

“There is rarely just one mistake made that results in injury; rather a constellation of events that culminate to cause the catastrophe…..untackled systemic and management failures are usually the real root cause of harm occurring………”

It is true that as lawyers, we are seeing more claims which are multi-factorial caused by such as delay, lack of communication, failures of monitoring and “missing links” in the chain towards diagnosis and treatment.

The NHS deserves our support. It is an amazing organisation and you may only realise this when you need it. Thinking where we would be without it is almost impossible.

But it is not without its failings that desperately need addressing. From a lawyer’s point of view, this may require a substantial shift in the culture and thinking behind how the NHS learns from its mistakes and deals with claims and potential claims.

Will this initiative be the catalyst for such a change? We hope so.

For help and advice on clinical negligence claims please contact our specilised medical negligence team on 01522 561020.

The post Listening and Learning – Claims Against the NHS (Part 2) appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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At a clinical negligence conference in Manchester earlier this year, Denise Chaffer, who is the Director of Learning and Safety for NHS Resolution, said she wanted to work “to help the NHS become the largest learning organisation in the world”. No lack of ambition there, then.

Her focus was on prevention of maternity based claims, particularly child birth injuries, which is hardly surprising, as although they make up only 10% of all claims against the NHS, almost 50% of the compensation budget is taken up in meeting the cost of such claims. NHS Resolution is collecting data to enable it to do a “deep dive” (lovely use of jargon there) into the information to try to get to the heart of what are the main causes of claims. It is not always the fault of low staffing levels, lack of finance and poor resources.

The report is at  https://bit.ly/2AuGCDH

There were three main strands.

First of all, many people feel that they have no option but to resort to the litigation process in order to find out what actually happened when an adverse incident occurs. Full and honest explanations at an early stage can often remove the need to take this step. The NHS does have a Duty of Candour, but this is not always honoured, or at least not as fully as it might be.  This needs to be encouraged.

Secondly of course, it follows that if the explanation is that something DID go wrong due to negligence – and it is the negligence that is important as in such a vast system, things will go wrong without there being negligence and no-one’s “fault” -then an early resolution of the complaint or potential claim should be aimed for.

This is not always possible, but an early admission of liability and causation where appropriate would at least reassure potential claimants that they will eventually be compensated.

It may also open the way for interim payments to be utilised to help with the financial problems that can occur following accidents and injury.

The third element is learning from harm done so it does not happen again, or at least the incidences can be reduced. The NHS has a policy of GIRFT – Get It Right First Time- and again, whilst an admirable target, not always possible in real terms.  Nevertheless, clinical negligence lawyers do see the same sort of negligent mistakes repeated and therefore having to be compensated, so surely it must be a priority to improve on this and reduce compensation payments?

NHS Resolution also carries the strap-line “Delivering fair resolution and learning from harm”. But does it? Can it? Will it actually happen in practice?

Whilst this may be a snappy strap line, the thinking behind this is vital for the NHS to improve on it’s patient safety record.

A brilliant and fascinating book – Black Box Thinking  – written by Matthew Syed, takes an in-depth look at how organisations, in particular the Health Sector, must change their culture and learn from their mistakes. You could get it here:

If the NHS are to have any chance in succeeding in their goals to become a learning organisation and to learn from their mistakes, they must embrace a cultural change like never before.

Perhaps Denis Chaffer should have said that she wanted the NHS to be the ‘best’ learning organisation in the world, not the ‘largest’.

In the second part of this article we will explore the NHS’s plans in more detail. We will also look at ways we feel the NHS can save money when things do go wrong.

The post Listening and Learning – Claims Against the NHS (Part 1) appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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Claimant personal injury and medical  negligence lawyers have for a long time supported an increase in the amount of compensation paid as a “bereavement award”, which is the sum on money awarded to certain members of families where someone has died as a result of negligence.

This can be negligence in medical treatment, or it can be as a result of a fatal road accident or even an accident at work.

It is a fixed lump sum paid as an acknowledgement of something going wrong and someone dying as a result. It can only be an acknowledgement, because obviously no amount of money can replace someone who has died when they should not have.   The sum is awarded by virtue of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.

The figure is currently £12,980, which has been for the last 6 years.  It does not seem a lot for a life, but then what price could you put on such a thing?

However, the fixed statutory sum has just been revised in Northern Ireland and as from May this year, will be increased to £15,100.00. Still a little enough sum, but an increase nevertheless.  Scotland has a different system in that it doesn’t have a fixed sum, but calculates the award on a case by case basis. This is not without its difficulties, as how can we value one life against another?

But has the time come in England to review and potentially revise the statutory award  to make it a more realistic acknowledgement?  Or is it somewhat difficult to think of a life having a “price” anyway?

There is a view which states that our legal system does not exist to impose “punitive” damages, as happens in America. Punitive damages are those which do not necessarily reflect the actual nature and extent of a person’s injuries and financial losses, but are extra damages which are far higher, with the intention of punishing the person who has caused the injuries or death. This is seen a lot where companies and corporations cause widespread injury and deaths where they manufacture dangerous or defective products.

In addition to the bereavement award, it is also possible to claim compensation for the loss of “dependency” due to a death. This would cover, for instance, loss of earnings of the deceased person and the cost of their funeral.  In cases of high earners with children, who die at a young age, the claim can run into many thousands, sometimes even hundreds of thousands as it has to reflect the financial loss to the family where they were and would have continued to be dependent on that person’s earnings.  These are not exclusive examples.

So should this be enough, given that every life is priceless?  But there is the loss of that actual, real person to be considered; their life shortened with so much to achieve which now won’t be and taken away from their family and friends. Surely that needs to be recognized at least?

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and its companion Act, the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1943, which allows claims to be brought on behalf of the deceased person’s estate where appropriate, are both complex and as can be seen by their dates, are now quite old laws.  Much has changed in terms of relationships in that time and we believe that the law needs looking at in the light of that.  The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers are supporting a review.

Those left behind after a death will almost certainly need financial assistance to help them through and in appropriate cases that can be in the form of compensation.

If you find yourself sadly in this position,  where a member of your family has been lost, possibly through negligence or an accident, do please contact us for advice.

The post Fatal Accidents Act – Time For Change? appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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Lincolnshire is the second biggest county in England and a large part of it is taken up with agriculture and horticulture. It borders 7 other counties including  Northamptonshire in the south for just 20 yards  (England’s shortest county boundary). Ringrose Law has offices in some of the most rural areas, including Boston and Spalding, where a great deal of farming takes place.

However, farms can be dangerous places if not used safely and the Farm Safety Partnership has introduced a year long Farm Safety Campaign for 2019. Each season will focus on a different aspect of safety on farms and for Spring, until the end of June, the focus is on handling livestock safely.

  1. The Partnership has four stated aims, which are, briefly:To promote the building, use and maintenance of well-designed livestock handling facilities
  2. Encourage caution around animals whether enclosed or in the open and always to ensure there is an “escape route” in case of difficulty
  3. To remove aggressive animals from a herd or group (which may then need to be managed differently)
  4. To separate livestock from the public wherever possible.

Stuart Roberts, who is the Vice-President of the National Farmers Union and the Farm Safety Partnership says in an interview by Simon King for “Over The Counter, animal health advisers and retailers :

“The Partnership is working towards halving the number of farm fatalities by 2023. We need farmers to start taking action and making real changes”

He continued:

“A lot of it is common sense…If we can take a second to identify where the risks are, we can actually take those risks away”

We would add that even if the risks cannot be removed completely, there are usually ways they can be minimised and ways to warn employees, farm visitors and the public generally outside the farm itself of those risks so they can take steps to avoid them and thus harming themselves.

In recognising that any animal can be unpredictable, National Farmers Union Livestock Board Chairman says:

“ Be vigilant, be aware and stay safe”

We couldn’t agree more.

Watch out for further articles on this subject on our website.

We can help If you have been injured in an accident either on a farm or involving animals, whether dogs, horses or even cows, contact us for advice etc etc.

The post Farm Safety Campaign 2019 appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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Ringrose Law have a vacancy in our very busy IT Department for a Learning Module Coordinator and Proclaim Developer Main Duties and Responsibilities (Training will be given)
  • Manage the companies Learning Module System (LMS) and develop further.
  • Organize, develop training material to meet specific training needs for the LMS.
  • Work with the Proclaim Development team to develop training aids such as manuals and handbooks
  • Learning within Proclaim to Building Linked Actions, data fields, correspondents, document templates and Creating reports
  • To deliver and develop training material on the Ringrose Law LMS system to a comprehensive technical standard
  • Developing workflows using Linked Actions, autoroutines and maths codes to improve efficiency of the business
  • Using Proclaim advanced reporting and SQL to improve system reports for management
  • Testing and implementation of all key data and workflows.
Essential
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office 365, Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
  • Strong problem solving / analytical skills
  • Proactive and positive manner
  • Able to adapt to challenging situations
  • Ability to self learn.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • The desire to learn
  • Excellent organisation and planning skills
  • Full driving licence
Desirable
  • Proclaim workflow development or similar
  • Knowledge of HTML, CSS , XML, SQL and PHP
  • Good knowledge of Adobe Captivate
  • Knowledge of Adobe Creative Cloud Including, Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Arcobat Pro
  • WordPress
  • LearnDash LMS
Benefits include:
  • Company Pension Scheme
  • 25 days annual leave
  • Staff discount
  • Annual Holiday Sale/Purchase scheme
  • Perkbox membership
Please send your CV and covering letter to careers@ringroselaw.co.uk Closing date Friday 21st June.

The post Learning Module Coordinator and Proclaim Developer -Boston appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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The Employment Law Team are holding a Free Employment Law Clinic in Grantham on Friday 14 June 2019.

The clinic is available for clients to attend between the hours of 10am to 3pm at:

4 St Peters Hill
Grantham
Lincolnshire
NG31 6QD

Clients visiting the clinic will receive up to 30 minutes of Free Advice from a member of our Employment Law Team.  Please bear in mind that our very popular clinics are operated on a booking basis only.  To reserve your appointment please contact our Employment Law Team on 01522 561020.

The Team are happy to advise on a wide range of Employment Law issues including:

  • Unfair Dismissal.
  • ACAS early conciliation.
  • Discrimination (sex, pregnancy age, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation).
  • Unpaid Wages.
  • Breach of Contract.
  • Unfair Constructive Dismissal.
  • Wrongful Dismissal.
  • Settlement Agreement Guidance.
  • Bullying in the workplace.
  • Raising a grievance.
How else can we help?

If you would rather not wait for our free employment law clinic in Grantham or simply want to book in for a longer and more detailed appointment with one of our Employment Law Solicitors please call 01522 561020 and we will be happy to arrange to see you at any of our offices in Newark, Lincoln, Spalding, Sleaford, Grantham or Boston.

The post Free Employment Law Clinic – Grantham appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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The HSE have reported that an engineering fabrication company in Warrington have been sentenced after an employee was crushed by a falling metal frame.

You can read the full report here:

Accident Circumstances

The employee was moving a metal frame using a forklift truck with another employee. The frame was catching the wheels of the truck and so the driver of the truck loosened the straps that were securing the load, consequently this caused the frame to topple from the fork lift truck onto the employee.

Injuries

The employee sustained severe crush injuries including multiple fractures and a ruptured bladder. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigator, Catherine Lyon reported following the hearing that the employee’s injuries were life changing and could have been fatal. She explained that the company were allowing fork lift trucks to be used without the appropriate training and monitoring of those operating them.  At the time of the hearing at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court in October the employee was receiving ongoing treatment and had been unable to return to work.

Outcome

Following an investigation by the HSE it was determined that the company had not prepared a suitable risk assessment or lifting plan for lifting operations and they had failed to recognize the risks associated with the way that the employees were working. The employees were not adequately trained or instructed in respect of carrying out lifting operations safely. The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined and ordered to pay costs.

How we can help

Employers have a responsibility to provide safe methods of working and to ensure that employees have the necessary training and information to enable them to work safely. If you have been involved in an accident at work and sustained injury as a result of inadequate training and monitoring, your employers failing to identify the risks associated with your job role or a fellow employees negligence then contact our team at Ringrose Law to see if you can make a claim.

We could help you receive compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that you may have suffered arising from the injury but we could also assist in obtaining the right treatment to facilitate your recovery and help you to recover any financial losses that have arisen as a result of the injury, for example in the above case loss of earnings.  

Contact us today on 01522 561020.

The post Employee crushed at work after Employer’s failings appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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The Employment Law Team are holding a Free Employment Law Clinic on Friday 07 June 2019 at the Newark Office.

The clinic is available for clients to attend between the hours of 10am to 3pm at:

Ringrose Law

Sketchley House
11 Castlegate
Newark
NG24 1AZ

Clients visiting the clinic will receive up to 30 minutes of Free Advice from a member of our Employment Law Team.  Please bear in mind that our very popular clinics are operated on a booking basis.  To reserve your appointment please contact our Employment Law Team on 01522 561020.

The Team are happy to advise on a wide range of Employment Law issues including:

  • Unfair Dismissal.
  • ACAS early conciliation.
  • Redundancy.
  • Discrimination (sex, pregnancy age, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation).
  • Whistleblowing.
  • Unpaid Wages.
  • Breach of Contract.
  • Unfair Constructive Dismissal.
  • Wrongful Dismissal.
  • Settlement Agreement Guidance.
  • Bullying in the workplace.
  • Raising a grievance.
How else can we help? If you would rather not wait for our clinic or simply want to book in for a longer and more detailed appointment with one of our Employment Law Solicitors please call 01522 561020 and we will be happy to arrange to see you at any of our offices in Newark, Lincoln, Spalding, Sleaford, Grantham or Boston.

The post Free Employment Law Clinic – Newark Office appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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It has been confirmed that the Government are considering further looking into how well the Family Court is protecting children following concerns that children are exposed to potential harm in domestic abuse cases. Work will be undertaken over a three month period to ensure the Family Court works first and foremost “in the best interests of the child”.

The Court are to ensure the children’s safety, health and well being are prioritised. The work undertaken will include senior members of the judiciary, academics and charities. Evidence will be issued straight away to hear from the people directly involved.

The work is being undertaken following concerns raised in its domestic abuse consultation about the family court’s response to potential harm to children and victims.

Concerns have also been raised that alleged perpetrators of domestic abuse were using the court system to re-traumatise their alleged victims.

Some people attend the family court on occasions at their most vulnerable and it is imperative they are offered appropriate protection.

The work undertaken will help the government have a better understanding of victims’ experiences of the system, and make sure the family court is never used to coerce or re-traumatise those who have been abused. Its findings will be used to inform next steps to build on measures already introduced to protect victims of domestic abuse.

The workers will also look at current practice directions relating to child arrangement cases where domestic abuse is a factor, look at the court’s application of ‘barring’ orders, and gather evidence on the impact on the child where contact is sought by someone alleged to have, or who has, committed domestic abuse or other relevant offences.

The latest work should build on banning the direct cross-examination of domestic violence victims by their alleged abusive ex-partners in court. Organisations are also being given funding to specially trained staff who will offer emotional and practical support to domestic abuse victims before, during and after family court hearings.

Reinstating legal aid for early advice and updating the means tests will help to ensure domestic abuse is identified at the earliest possible point and children are properly protected from parents with a history of violence.

The post Child protection in the family court appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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A new opportunity has arisen for a Litigation Solicitor (newly qualified to 2 years PQE)  to join our successful Commercial  & General Litigation Department.

You will work closely with and provide support to the Head of Department, dealing with complex and interesting cases.

To be successful for this role you will have had some exposure during or post training to litigation either commercial or general and have an interest in this area of the law.  You will need to present a professional image at all times to clients and collaborators, be well presented, confident and have first class communication skills. You will be hard working and able to work to tight deadlines.

The position is based in Newark but will involve regular travel to all of our other offices.

Activities will be varied and will include, but are not limited to the following;
  • To actively promote the firm’s full range of services but to concentrate primarily on Litigation.
  • Manage all client work allocated by the Head of Department or other fee-earners and in accordance with detailed procedures and quality standards contained in the firm’s Office Manual.
  • To ensure that all client work is progressed expeditiously and that the client is kept regularly informed on realistic outcomes, progress and on costs.
  • At all times to exercise high standards of client care in a professional and pleasant manner.
  • To ensure the confidentiality and security of all of the firm’s and client documentation and information.
  • Achieve agreed levels of billing and time recording per annum.
  • To maintain clear and precise communications with other personnel of the firm.
  • Ensure good working relationships with internal and external institutions and organisations.
  • To take responsibility for and attend to self-development.
  • In conjunction with the firm, to comply with the relevant training requirements.
  • To support Departmental Head and to be responsible for administration of the department
Experience Required:
  • Qualified Solicitor, newly qualified to 2 years PQE with experience of litigation.
  • Experience in departmental specialist area – Litigation
  • Computer and case management skills
  • Proven IT skills including Word, Outlook and Excel
  • Outstanding inter-personal and communication skills; good written skills are essential with close attention to detail
  • High standard of organisational skills
  • Ability to use initiative
  • A friendly, positive and pro-active approach

Benefits include:

  • Company Pension Scheme
  • 25 days annual leave
  • Staff discount
  • Annual Holiday Sale/Purchase scheme
  • Perkbox membership

We are not currently using agencies to fill this role.

The post Commercial and General Litigation Solicitor – NQ to 2 years PQE appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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