01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Say sorry: how an apology could help save the NHS money

Say sorry: how an apology could help save the NHS money



By , senior solicitor and medical negligence expert at Neil Hudgell Solicitors

Recent comments by Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, that doctors and nurses should be more open and honest when things go wrong and “say sorry” to patients immediately struck a chord with me.

Not only would a timely apology help build trust in the NHS, as Mr Hunt wishes, it could potentially save the organisation a lot of money and time.  At present, large amounts of both are invested in investigating complaints and paying compensation to patients who’ve suffered medical negligence.  But, in my experience, many of the complaints would not be lodged in the first place if the doctor or medic involved had simply said “sorry”.

Around 50% of my clients with medical negligence claims say they wouldn’t pursue litigation if they had received a timely apology.   They tell me that they accept that doctors are human and so can make errors.  Among these clients are people who’ve suffered serious injury or incapacitation; these are patients living every day with the outcomes of a clinical blunder or poor care.

But the misjudgement that patients find hardest to accept is medics who do not or will not apologise.  Consequently, often a client’s decision to take legal action is motivated by anger and frustration at this fundamental discourtesy and a perception that medics are aloof, unfeeling and unrepentant.

Some medics or care providers argue that if they were to say sorry they would also be admitting liability and risking having to pay out more compensation.  This is wrong: to say sorry is not to admit negligence.  Instead an apology demonstrates compassion for a patient.  In addition, if coupled by an undertaking to put right the mistake or ensure it isn’t repeated, saying sorry can be sufficient remedy for many patients and their loved ones.  As clients have told me, they would then be less likely to try to claim compensation.

Clearly, this shows that expressing regret early on for mistakes can greatly reduce the likelihood of a claim being made.  More than that, if a claim is pursued, it can also cut the cost of the claims process.  It can help to minimise the legal time, spent by lawyers for both claimant and defendant, to investigate the complaint.  Crucially, it can also avoid recourse to court and the associated costs.

In short, for many of my medical negligence clients, it’s true that “Sorry seems to be the hardest word” for doctors and other carers.  As a result, sorry is also proving an unnecessarily costly word for the NHS.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Simon Wilson

Senior Solicitor, Clinical Negligence

sw@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request A Callback

I am an existing client.










Or call us FREE on:

01482 778 463


trust pilottrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot star

The data you submit will only be used by Hudgell Solicitors and only for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry.
See full privacy policy.

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly professional service.

"Excellent service all way through."

Sakina begum

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Thrilled

"After not knowing what to do, hudgell have helped me thoroughly through the process and… "

Adam Shutt

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

helpful informative efficient and…

"helpful informative efficient and friendly these are all the qualities I found with the firm… "

Sharon Coultas

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

it took a long time but i definitely…

"it took a long time but i definitely got the result i wanted and deserved… "

Jan Mack

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very good efficient service

"Very good efficient service"

Amelia Jacobs

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service throughout my case

"Excellent service throughout my case Handled with ease and quickly"

Wayne Carter

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service in difficult…

"Excellent service in difficult circumstances Secured my compensation and won my case when other solicitors… "

Michael

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Fantastic team & Sarah :)

"Fantastic team and Sarah my Solicitor! Sarah has Handled everything for me, right up until… "

Sibel Sibel

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Third time lucky thanks to Hudgell!

"I had breast augmentation surgery three years ago for a complex assymetry case. I was… "

Bethanie Hawkins

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great customer service

"Great customer service Tasmin was very helpful Updated me on a regular basis Thanks for… "

Mr D Scannell

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Caroline was great in handling my case

"Caroline was great in handling my case, very informative and always kept me up to… "

Mr Richard Brook

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Dispute with EasyJet

"Although Hudgell offices were not local to us, there was no need for concern, as… "

Glyn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always on the ball

"Always on the ball! Great at what they do, very professional and fast with a… "

CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Very happy with result. Thank you."

Miss Erika Panakova

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Was an easy process and the caseworker…

"Was an easy process and the caseworker was very informative and very knowledgeable on my… "

Rachel Fee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Lovely business to deal with

"Lovely business to deal with. Would recommend to anyone."

Mrs Kelly Byrnes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great communication

"Great communication! My solicitor was lovely to deal with, open and listened to me."

Sue Ockendon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy with how they managed my…

"Very happy with how they managed my claim. I would recommend them."

Mr Steve Roberts

Rated 9.2 out of 10 based on 466 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

Manchester

1 St Peter’s Square
Third Floor
Manchester
M2 3AE

 

VIEW DETAILS

© 2019 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90