Patient death or serious harm

Reference: INV-4c

Last Updated 28/07/2017

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In cases where there is a question about whether the failings of the nurse or midwife caused or contributed to the death of a patient, resulted in a missed opportunity for life or caused serious harm, we will usually need an expert opinion. If an independent expert has previously been instructed – either at a local level, during a criminal investigation or by a Coroner, we will consider approaching that expert witness to assist our own investigation in the first instance.

Not every case involving a patient death, dispute or specialist matters will require an independent expert opinion. The need to resolve serious concerns about a nurse or midwife’s fitness to practise in the most proportionate way will always be the reference point when considering whether an independent expert is needed.