New guides to help surgeons defend against negligence claims

  • Date: 29 September 2022

NEW best practice guides to documenting common surgical procedures aim to help NHS teams in England defend against claims of negligence or poor practice.

The guidance sets out how doctors can most effectively document five common surgical procedures. It outlines how “clear documentation of procedures can support the resolution process and provide the best care for patients.”

The guides were written following a review of claims data with NHS Resolution, with feedback from NHS lawyers and expert witnesses. The review found that poor documentation often makes the investigation of episodes of care leading to incidents and claims “difficult” and can “prevent the defence of potentially good clinical practice.”

NHS Resolution said the cost of litigation against the NHS in England is £128.6 billion, with costs expected to rise further as “activity is increasing.”

The guides cover:

  • laparoscopic appendicectomy
  • laparoscopic cholecystectomy
  • open and laparoscopic inguinal hernia
  • laparotomy and laparoscopic bowel resection surgery
  • thyroidectomy.

They are available on Future NHS (login required) and Best Practice Library.

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

Save this article

Save this article to a list of favourite articles which members can access in their account.

Save to library

Related Content

Roundtable part 2 - Diagnosing conditions with a slower progression

Roundtable part 1 - Dealing with serious childhood illnesses

Medico-legal principles

For registration, or any login issues, please visit our login page.