Inquiries and Investigations
In addition to knowing when to take the necessary (and often difficult) steps to address concerns identified through the clinical governance and risk management programmes, it is also essential to know what steps should be taken. For example concerns may be raised in relation to a minor issue such as an outdated clinical practice to a very significant patient safety issue.
Our team have advised extensively on a full range of investigations and inquiries including Commissions of Investigation, statutory enquiries external and internal reviews, root cause analysis, systems review and trust in care investigations.
The most important aspect of any review or investigation, no matter how small, is to understand how the findings of the final report could have a devastating impact on the organisation's reputation as well as the person's reputation and even career.
It is for this reason that such inquiries and investigations should be carried out correctly, and our team are experts in both advising on the conduct of the investigation and in representing the healthcare organisations and its staff at statutory inquiries.
Our services include advising on the following:
- Drafting the terms of reference to ensure that these are focused and in order - this is to ensure that the review team clearly understand the facts of the case and are briefed on the key points; a failure to do so could impact on the fairness of the process.
- Witness management and their constitutional right to fair procedures.
- Selecting the members of the review team with relevant experience and expertise.
- Representing the healthcare providers in connection with external investigations, criminal investigations against members of staff and high profile inquiries.
- Protection of confidential information from inappropriate disclosure in the context of an investigation.
- Representing the healthcare organisation and its staff if oral evidence is required at a statutory inquiry.
- Preparation of submissions in response to a draft report to a statutory inquiry.
- Challenging the process by way of Judicial Review in the event that fair procedures have not been followed (for example where the healthcare organisation is a witness in an inquiry).
- Defending challenges to the fair procedures process (for example where the healthcare organisation conducts the inquiry).
- Publication of the final report.
For further information, please contact a member of our Health and Social Care Team.