What does the COVID pandemic mean for the standard of care?

Fri, 09 Apr 2021


In the latest video from the No5 Clinical Negligence Group, Chris Bright QCJohn Coughlan QC, Gemma Roberts, and Neil Shastri-Hurst will be exploring the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the interpretation of the appropriate standard of care.

Over the course of the last year or so, clinicians have been redeployed in order to ensure the NHS was not overwhelmed. This has inevitably resulted in individual practitioners working beyond their normal scope of practice. The panel will be considering whether the unprecedented nature of the pandemic will affect how the standard of care is addressed in clinical negligence cases. In doing so, the panel will consider the relevant legislation (Coronavirus Act 2020), along with the cases of Wilsher v Essex Area Health Authority [1987] UKHL 11, FB v Rana [207] EWCA Civ 334, Mullholland v Medway NHS Foundation Trust [2015] EWHC 268 (QB), Darnley v Croydon Health Services [2018] UKSC 50, and Douse v Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWHC 2294 (QB).

Whilst, at this stage, there are more questions than answers, how the courts ultimately approach such claims will be anticipated keenly by both claimants and defendants alike.

As an accompaniment to this vlog, Chris and Neil have previously written on this topic for AvMA. The article can be accessed via this link.

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