Healthwatch responds to the independent review into gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide

Leslie Hamilton and his working group have published their independent review into how the laws on gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide are applied to medical practice. Read our response.
providing support and involving patients’ families, must be a priority during and after any investigation
— Imelda Redmond, National Director

The independent review was commissioned by the General Medical Council (GMC) following the tragic death of a child and the subsequent conviction for gross negligence manslaughter of senior paediatric trainee involved in his care.

The final report includes 29 recommendations for the GMC and a range of organisations across the UK, covering local, coronial, criminal and regulatory processes.

Healthwatch England welcomes the publication of the report and the recommendations into how the law on gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide are applied to medical practice.

We also welcome the response from the GMC in accepting the recommendations and calling on the UK government to reform the Medical Act. 

Imelda Redmond, National Director of Healthwatch England said:

“We echo the response to the independent review made by Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the GMC, that providing support and involving patients’ families, must be a priority during and after any investigation.

“The public know the stress the NHS is under. They understand that doctors and other health professionals are working in a highly pressurised environment, and mistakes can, and will happen. Health professionals must have the confidence to know that when things do go wrong, they will be treated fairly, and families must feel the same.

“Creating a culture that treats people with fairness requires a commitment from all organisations working in the NHS, to providing the care that patients and their families expect and deserve, and that doctors and other health professional strive to deliver.”

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