90% believe patients less likely to sue if given apology

Over 90% of medical professionals believe patients are less likely to sue if they receive an apology, according to a survey.

Most respondents believe patients just want an apology when they complain (54%).

Far less thought complaints were motivated by compensation (24%), punishment (11%), or to stop the error happening again (10%).

The survey of 700 medical professionals was complied by the Medical Protection Society (MPS).

Dr Stephanie Bown, MPS director of communications and policy, said that being open can often prevent formal complaints occurring.

‘Most patients who make complaints about medical errors just want to understand what happened and why,’ she said.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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