Rapid resolution and redress scheme for severe avoidable birth injury: Government summary consultation response

Readers may recall that, back in March, the Department of Health launched a 12-week consultation into the potential parameters of a Rapid Resolution and Redress Scheme (as recommended in Better Births by the National Maternity Review chaired by Baroness Cumberlege in 2016).

On 28 November DH published a summary of consultation responses received to 17 questions.  

Only 217 unique responses were received – 47 per cent from midwives and ten per cent from obstetricians.

The responses included:

  • 92 per cent agreed that the scheme should include early investigations, conducted by professionals independent from the Trust involved.
  • 80 per cent agreed that the investigation should be launched within 90 days (other recommendations included a range from 7– 42 days).
  • 90 per cent agreed that the scheme should include an early apology.
  • 98 per cent agreed that investigations should offer families the opportunity to be involved.
  • 99 per cent agreed that the scheme design should ensure that learning is disseminated locally, regionally and nationally.

Points that were picked up include:

  • Investigations to be run by trained incident investigators.
  • RRR should not overlap with the work of Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch.
  • Investigations should be concluded not just launched within 90 days.
  • The number of parallel investigation processes should be minimised.
  • Duty of Candour, 'safe space' and information sharing.
  • Ten additional potential barriers to learning were identified, including investigation quality, lack of protected time for training and training of different professions in isolation.

The DH is now working with partners to develop a final workable policy proposal. A final policy option is to be published in Spring 2018.

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