This report examines psychiatric damage claims for secondary victims, who face restrictive controls which have limited the amount of meritorious claims significantly. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. This was therefore plainly a two event case. The Caldicott principles set out how the NHS should handle confidential information about service users. The scope for claiming nervous shock as a secondary victim in clinical negligence cases, in light of a recent Court of Appeal decision regarding injury sustained during childbirth. The coroner’s primary duty is to decide how somebody came about his or her death. Found in: PI & Clinical Negligence. In the recent case of Shorter v Surrey the High Court gave further consideration to the application of the control mechanisms to secondary victim claims in clinical negligence (see previous post on Wild and Wild). Law on secondary victims in clinical negligence claims pushes the existing boundaries even further. The editors reserve the right to delete comments without notice and accept no responsibility for the content of comments. Although the owner’s cause of action in contract arose when the work was negligently performed, his cause of action in tort did not arise until he drove the car off the cliff. Nevertheless, there is likely to be a perception that it ‘opens the doors’ to secondary victim claims. clinical negligence context and, in particular, to the issue of whether it is fatal to a secondary victim claim if there is a delay between an initial tort (arising for example from a failure to diagnose or a failure to treat a patient) and a claimant’s subsequent experience of shock. Proximity is a familiar legal concept in the law of negligence generally. After a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of collaborative working across health and care, 2021/22 look set to be the years in which NHS England/Improvement’s plans to formally secure Integrated Care System coverage nationwide crystallise through new legislation and guidance. The defendant argued that the mother was a secondary victim since RE survived and the cause of RE’s permanent injuries was the negligent treatment following her birth. Her daughter, who suffered psychiatric injury as a result of witnessing the death, sued as a secondary victim. On the claimants’ case, when he left hospital he had partially blocked coronary arteries, with consequent risk of cardiac failure, whereas had he been treated with due care, these blockages would have been wholly or partially eliminated. Secondary victims in clinical negligence. Our expertise and experience mean that we understand the issues you face and the clear and practical advice that you require, especially as services and systems become more integrated. The only issue was whether the event was sufficiently sudden, shocking and objectively horrifying. Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Take, for example, the case of a young child who suffers brain damage as a result of the defendant’s clinical negligence. It is not a later consequence of the accident. Maintained • . Secondary victims in clinical negligence claims (Paul v Royal Wolverhampton) News. Secondary victims: “control mechanisms”. There are less than a handful of reported successful secondary victim claims as a result of clinical negligence. In such a case, the relevant event is the accident. In Ronayne, the claimant was refused damages for nervous shock after witnessing his wife on a ventilator, looking like ‘the michelin man’, following post-operative complications. The High Court and Court of Appeal have recently considered again the application of the secondary victim (SV) ‘control mechanisms’ to claims arising from clinical negligence. The law on secondary victims, namely those people who were not injured themselves (commonly known as primary victims), but who observed a loved one sustaining injury and suffered psychiatric injury as a result, is governed by principles set down in the cases following the … Having considered the consultation responses the NDG has decided to: Each month our Health team will update you on recent key developments, and look ahead to what’s coming up in your sector. True it of course is, that on a strike out application under CPR 3.4(2)(a) the court is limited to considering whether the statement of case discloses reasonable grounds for bringing the claim. “What is required in order to found liability is something which is exceptional in nature” (Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v Ronayne … In clinical negligence claims, the law makes a distinction between ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ victims. The judge’s obiter dicta, if correct, would represent a significant extension to the scope of liability to secondary victims that has been recognised in any previous case. On 20 November 2020, NHS England wrote to all NHS trusts with a clear instruction to implement a plan to vaccinate their workforce. COVID 19 Vaccine – questions of safety and civil liability, Informed consent in children and young people, R (on the application of Maughan) (Appellant) v Her Majesty’s Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire (Respondent)  UKSC 46, Michelle Leach v North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 2914 (QB). Ex parte Blackburn (No.2)  2 QB 150. A secondary victim has a whole separate set of requirements to discharge, as set out below. It is also difficult to see why, in principle, successive secondary victims could not succeed if each witnessed a different sufficiently horrifying event caused by the defendant’s tortious act. Master Cook confirmed that secondary victim claims in cases of Clinical Negligence require proximity to the “relevant event”, not simply proximity to the final consequence of the negligence. Case Note on Paul & Anr v … The decision of the Court of Appeal in Taylor and another v A Novo (UK) Ltd EWCA Civ 194 was binding upon the judge. The reality is that the circumstances of this case will rarely arise as family members are not usually witness to the ‘event’ that leads to the primary victim’s injury. As it was expressed in Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust -v- Ronayne 2015 - ‘a visitor to a hospital is necessarily to a certain degree conditioned as to what to expect... what is required in order to found liability is something which is exceptional in nature.’. It follows that reference to passages in the speeches in those cases to “proximity to the accident” or “proximity to the event” tells us nothing about what the answer should be where the qualifying event relied upon by the secondary victim post-dates the “accident” or commission of the tort. Secondary victims of clinical negligence Background. ), writing in Punch magazine, described a decision of the Court of Appeal as “a strange example of the blindness which sometimes descends on the best of judges”. Archive • 15.06.2020 • . 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