Kiteleys Solicitors

Kiteleys Solicitors. 7 St. Stephen's Court, 15-17 St. Stephen's Road, Bournemouth, Dorset. BH2 6LA. Telephone 01202 299992.
Kiteleys Solicitors is the trading style of Kiteleys Solicitors Limited registered in England and Wales, registered number 03113721. VAT Registration No: 658 8813 79.
This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of directors is available for inspection at our registered office.

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At Kiteleys we are a team of experienced solicitors, all very enthusiastic about our own specialist areas of the law.

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10th June 2016

Should Mediation Become Compulsory In Disagreements Over Patient Care?

An anaesthetist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading is of the opinion that mediation should be made a legal requirement throughout England and Wales to settle disputes surrounding patient care.

During his speech at Euroanaesthesia 2016 Mr Danbury was quoted as saying the following:

“Mediation can be done informally, perhaps by asking another clinician within the institution to act as an honest broker. If this fails, then a formal mediation process can be initiated with legal representation on both sides. Mediation costs a great deal less than going to court and often preserves the relationship between the clinical team and their patient/representatives, which can otherwise be severely damaged by the rigors of court proceedings”.

Some see mediation as a form of allowing the relationship between the medical team and the patient and or the families to continue. However, not all families wish to be persuaded by mediation and would prefer their thoughts to be voiced in court, where they feel that all steps have been taken to ensure the right decision has been made.

Not all disagreements are over a difference of opinion, some are simple misunderstandings. Mr Danbury went on to say:

“Sometimes misunderstandings can occur very easily, one doctor may not explain something very well to a family, but then once a colleague intervenes, the situation can be calmed down very quickly. But if this should fail, then the default option should be to go to formal mediation by an independent third party. It is never too late to talk, and the cost savings to the NHS would be immense”.

Mediation is not suited to all patients and their families involved, they are often in an extremely vulnerable state and mediations would not be fair in all situations, they may feel bullied into accepting treatment that they do not wish to receive.

Whatever the outcome families need to know that they have done all they can, and sometimes this means pursuing matters through the court.

Posted by Mark Kiteley.

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Kiteleys Solicitors. 7 St. Stephen's Court, 15-17 St. Stephen's Road, Bournemouth, Dorset. BH2 6LA. Telephone 01202 299992.
Kiteleys Solicitors is the trading style of Kiteleys Solicitors Limited registered in England and Wales, registered number 03113721. VAT Registration No: 658 8813 79.
This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of directors is available for inspection at our registered office.