One of the largest datasets of healthcare related compensation claims in the world sits at the helm of NHS Resolution. It is our duty to use this information responsibly to drive positive change for patients and staff, outlined in our remit under the National Health Service Litigation Authority (Arrangements for the Existing Liabilities Scheme) Directions 2019.
A key aspect of our three year strategy is proactively encouraging shared analysis of the information we hold across national bodies, clinical colleagues, academics and other researchers, in a consistent way that helps others to combine our data and insights.
Deputy Director for Incentive Schemes and Academic Partnerships at NHS Resolution, Dr Alex Crowe, and colleagues across the organisation, have been driving this ambition with academic partners Staffordshire University and London Southbank University. Dr Alex Crowe works in our Safety and Learning service, which supports our Claims Management service members to better understand their claims risk profiles to target their safety activity while sharing learning across the system. In this article we explore four of NHS Resolution’s work streams for our academic and/or partnership working which underpin our credibility, rigour and reputation as an organisation.
NHS Resolution employs a number of clinical fellows, healthcare professionals with an interest in research, who dedicate time to analyse trends in our claims data. These form the basis of a number of academic reports (also known as thematic reviews) for example:
- A thematic review of clinical negligence claims in patients with diabetes and lower limb complications, identifying several key time points during the patient journey where intervention could improve care quality.
- Emergency department compensation claims that look at high-value and fatality-related claims over £1 million; missed fractures; and hospital-acquired pressure ulcers and falls in emergency departments.
- Analysis of the data from the first year of an indemnity scheme for general practice, identifying that quicker and more accurate diagnosis, and improved prescribing processes could result in better patient outcomes.
As our clinical fellows come from a variety of clinical backgrounds, we ensure a structured and clearly articulated approach as to how we undertake research and ensure they have the tools they need to progress their reports and analysis in a consistent and robust fashion. We help identify any skills gaps and provide training and support as required. The Clinical Advisory Group also supports clinical fellows with clinical expertise and academic research. Attending writers’ retreats at the London Southbank University with facilitation from Staffordshire University on how to write reports, what to include in their contents and how to make strong recommendations is another way we support and develop our clinical fellows.
Delivering a range of technological improvements through our Core Systems Programme, which looks at the systems we use to support business delivery, is another key element of our three year strategy. One example is the delivery of flexible, configurable data tools that can respond to changes rapidly and easily.
One aim is to maximise the clinical information we can extract from our Claims Management System to support thematic reviews and learning from harm.
This clinical coding work stream (working with IT who are undertaking a programme within NHS Resolution to enhance technology capability) looks at our Claims Management System to extract a set of categories in a subject area that shows their similar characteristics and how they are related to one another (ontology) over hierarchical relationships among concepts (taxonomy).
Another way NHS Resolution works with academic partners is through designing and developing engaging educational modules. One example is a maternity module, which includes three case stories, currently in development alongside our partners, Staffordshire University and Health Education England.
Benefits of academic partnerships
Academic partners provide the direction, education and training to allow us to process information in an effective and prescriptive way, such as prioritisation and implementation of recommendations and guidance, so that it’s available to healthcare professionals at the point of care.
Along with ensuring we work with highly skilled staff, by investing in our people, we know that academic partnership working can drive changes for the better to support sharing learning from harm for the benefit of patient care across the health system.