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Staff Substance Misuse

Freedom of information request details

FOI request date:

Service: Corporate

The following information was requested:

 

1. When negligence claims are made against the NHS, are there any requirements for all of the relevant staff that were involved in the procedure to provide any samples to be analysed for the misuse of substances, namely illicit drugs, prescription medications or alcohol?

2. How many compensation claims (including ongoing claims that have not been resolved yet) have involved NHS clinical staff where their relevant regulatory body (e.g. General Medical Council etc.,) have tested them for substance misuse, namely illicit drugs, prescription medications or alcohol. If they have been tested – how many have provided a positive result for substance misuse, for the last five financial years or ten years if possible?

3. What are the total values of successful claims and estimated outstanding liabilities that have involved NHS staff testing positive by their regulatory body (if applicable) for substance misuse, namely illicit drugs, prescription medications or alcohol whilst your organisation was functioning as the NHS Litigation Authority?

4. What are the total values of successful claims and estimated outstanding liabilities that have involved NHS staff testing positive by their regulatory body (if applicable) for substance misuse, namely illicit drugs, prescription medications or alcohol whilst your organisation has been functioning as NHS resolution?

5. For requests 3 & 4, please could you give an individual breakdown of this information by year over the last five financial years or ten years if possible?

6. Have there been any instances/claims, historical or ongoing, where a patient has died due to clinician error (in terms of procedural/surgical/medication error) and the clinician was found to have been misusing substances, i.e., illicit drugs, prescription medications or alcohol? If yes, please could you provide some information as well as a breakdown of these numbers, including value, for the longest timeframe possible – ideally for the last ten years as a minimum? Also, if this situation has arisen what was the outcome in terms of disciplinary action or criminal charges?

7. Have there been any instances/claims, historical or ongoing, where a patient has suffered harm due to clinician error (in terms of procedural/surgical/medication error) and the clinician was found to have been misusing substances, i.e., illicit drugs, prescription medications or alcohol? If yes, please could you provide some information as well as a breakdown of these numbers, including value, for the longest timeframe possible – ideally for the last ten years as a minimum? Also, if this situation has arisen what was the outcome in terms of disciplinary action or criminal charges?

8. From your website, NHS Resolution states: A key component of our strategy addresses what we consider to be a duty to use what we know, to help to prevent the same thing happening again. This is where we have a unique contribution to make to the patient safety system and will work with others to improve patient safety. Our Safety and Learning service works with providers of NHS care to help them understand their own claims risk profiles in order to target their safety activity, and nationally to share learning from common themes in claims across the health service.

a. If substance misuse by staff has been involved in any of your ongoing or historical claims (at both NHS Litigation Authority and NHS Resolution) – what safety and learning measures have you put in place to mitigate the risk of substance abuse being implicated in any future claims so as to improve patient safety and also to reduce the requirement of public funds to pay for any such future claims?

b. If you are not the organisation that would be able to mitigate the risk of substance abuse by NHS staff being implicated in future claims which organisation would be?

9. Will the information that you provide be an accurate representation of the data you hold or will agreements (i.e. non-disclosure agreements) or clauses skew the claims data that I have requested?

 

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