- No non-delegable duty owed to patients for outsourced NHS services (JMH v Akramy)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- The clinical negligence claim
- The contractual arrangements in place
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Personal Injury analysis: The High Court ruled that the duty of a Primary Care Trust (PCT) pursuant to section 83(1) of the National Health Service Act 2006 (NHSA 2006) (in its form as at 27 December 2008) to ‘provide…or secure [the] provision [of]’ primary medical services was not a non-delegable duty. The duty could be discharged by arranging for services to be provided by third parties. Contrary to the claimant’s (C’s) submissions, a PCT did not owe a non-delegable duty to take reasonable care in the performance of primary medical services, whether under statute or at common law. The claimant was a child who had suffered severe brain injuries on account of allegedly negligent medical care provided at an out-of-hours (OOH) clinic run by a private company, Badger Healthcare Ltd (Badger). Badger had entered a contract with the relevant PCT to provide OOH primary medical services in the PCT’s area. Both Badger and the nurse whom Badger engaged (Ms Akramy, the first defendant (D1)) had insufficient insurance to satisfy a successful claim by C, putting C at significant risk of being undercompensated. The question of whether a PCT owed a non-delegable duty to patients in the provision of primary medical services was therefore determined at a preliminary issue trial. Written by Susanna Bennett, barrister at 1 Chancery Lane.
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