What was the review?

The review considered gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide. In relation to the perceived vulnerability of the medical profession to these criminal charges. The aim of these recommendations are to encourage a renewed focus on culture, reflective practice, and individual and systemic learning.

It has examined:

  • the entire process following the unexpected death of a patient. Including local investigations, inquiries by a coroner, procurator fiscal or sheriff, any criminal investigation and our fitness to practise processes
  • what we will do to improve the application of the existing law, procedures and processes. While maintaining the core aim of protecting the public and maintaining confidence in the profession
  • the outcome of the rapid review into the application of gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare in England and Wales. Led by Sir Norman Williams.

You can find out more about the purpose, objectives and scope of the review in the terms of reference.

Extensive research and engagement with stakeholders across the UK informed the working group’s review. From families, doctors, healthcare service providers and lawyers, to a dedicated group of experts in Scotland where the law of culpable homicide is different.