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NHS Redress Scheme

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent progress has been made on the implementation of the NHS Redress Act 2006; (277214)

(2) whether consultation has begun on details of the NHS Redress Scheme;

(3) when he plans to bring forward proposals for secondary legislation to introduce the NHS Redress Scheme.

The NHS Redress Scheme can only be enacted through secondary legislation, and will require extensive consultation before draft proposals are brought before Parliament. However, the principles behind the scheme are those underpinning the reform of the NHS complaints arrangements that came into effect on 1 April 2009.

The NHS Redress Scheme would apply only to clinical negligence cases of lower monetary value. We consider that focussing on complaints reform will enable those principles to be applied across a wider range of cases.

Once complaints reforms have bedded down, we will begin to consider the implementation of the NHS Redress Scheme.

Once developed, the NHS Redress Scheme will set out the way lower value clinical negligence cases are handled in the national health service to provide appropriate redress, including investigations, explanations, apologies and financial redress where appropriate, without the need to go to court, thereby improving the experience of patients using the NHS.