We are committed to using all forms of dispute resolution to avoid formal court proceedings and in December 2016 launched our first mediation service. This employs third party mediation providers to help claimants and NHS trusts reach fair resolution. Our Head of Dispute Resolution and Quality, Julienne Vernon, has contributed to an issue of Medico-Legal Magazine, highlighting some of the various forms of dispute resolution that we employ to avoid formal court proceedings.
Julienne’s article notes the early success of our mediation service and the positive impacts that a face to face apology or explanation of an incident can have on settlement rates. The article also describes some of the benefits of other techniques including formal written offers, early exchanges of expert evidence, telephone discussions, lawyers meetings, and global resolution meetings.
To read the article in full, please find it on page 19 of Issue 18 of Medico-Legal Magazine.
Separately, in a video contribution to the G7 Conference on Patient Safety, our Chief Executive, Helen Vernon, highlighted that around 74% of our claims are now resolved outside of formal court proceedings. Our ambition as an organisation is to take this further. Through our evaluation of the mediation service we provide, we have found that resolving claims in this way is better for the majority of claimants, their families and the NHS staff involved in incidents. You can hear more in the below short excerpt.