Listening group

Medicolegal: safety through engagement

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Safety through engagement

Dr Pallavi Bradshaw, DCMO Medicolegal, knows clinicians strive to do the best for their patients. From her years of experience supporting them, she understands the challenges faced trying to do this in what can be an imperfect system.  

After all, no provider practises in isolation. Even the worst examples of malpractice of our time – Paterson comes to mind – show individuals operating within a system and a culture which enabled the harms to happen.  

Her work aims to support providers and facilities in providing safe, ethical and effective care, while fostering a culture of openness and learning.   

That’s why she encourages a human factors approach to investigating error and identifying risk. She appreciates it’s also important for clinicians to feel able to raise concerns about systems and her role within AXA Health is to support a ‘speaking up’ culture. 

She seeks assurances from facilities about how they embed these behaviours and values: she’s set up regular meetings with the Responsible Officers of the major hospital groups to create a new approach to sharing information. These meetings will also support ROs and those with governance responsibility in implementing the IHPN MPAF framework. She aims thereby to remove some of the barriers to sharing information and can support whole practice oversight in the interests of patient safety.   

She also talks to regulators and is working with providers to enable dissemination of learning from incidents across the sector. She is also encouraging clinicians to share their data with PHIN, their appraisers and private facilities. 

She also has provider fraud and audit in her remit: investigating anomalies in billing, including repeated invoicing for unproven treatments or unusual combinations of care, which may pose a patient safety risk. She wants clinicians to know that if AXA Health contacts them with questions following an audit, it’s because we’re looking to understand practice, not punish it.  

Pallavi provides clinical and medicolegal advice across the business, in particular where there are competence or conduct concerns about clinicians. She has designed a policy to ensure that fitness to practise concerns regarding providers are dealt with effectively and consistently. She is also contributes to public consultations on healthcare regulation and patient safety.  

She hopes that our common ambition to protect what matters most to our members will see us collaborating with providers, working together, as partners, to improve practice for the benefit of patients.  

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Pallavi Bradshaw

Dr Pallavi Bradshaw, Deputy Chief Medical Officer (Medicolegal), AXA Health

Pallavi read medicine at the University of Cambridge and undertook higher surgical training in Ophthalmology. She has pursued further studies in law and business and worked in various strategic lead roles for the Medical Protection Society. She currently sits on the CORESS Advisory Board.  



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OUP Patient Safety Handbook

Pallavi has co-authored the ‘Open Disclosure’ chapter in Oxford Professional Practice: Handbook of Patient Safety, ed. Lachman et al (OUP, April 2022)  

Oxford Professional Practice: Handbook of Patient Safety