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Can ‘healthcare safety crimes’ improve the safety of patients and professionals?

Dr. Oliver Quick, presenting

Participants of the 8th European Conference on Health Law hosted by the University of Ghent, Belgium.

Press release issued: 25 May 2022

Earlier this month, Dr. Oliver Quick provided a fresh perspective on the role of 'healthcare safety crimes' in improving the safety of patient care in a paper he presented at the 8th European Conference on Health Law hosted by the University of Ghent, Belgium.

The theme of the 2022 conference was “Quality of healthcare. Can the law help to guarantee safe and reliable care for the patient?” Dr. Oliver Quick’s paper, in the medical liability and complaints procedures session, explored the scope, appropriateness, and impact of ‘healthcare safety crimes’ for improving safety and wellbeing for both patients and professionals.

Little is known about how these regulatory criminal offences, enforced by the Care Quality Commission, operate in practice, and this paper sought to evaluate the design and enforcement of these offences. In particular, it explored their potential for ensuring organisations change policies and practices around levels of staffing, training and infection control to minimise the risk of patient harm.

“This was a stimulating conference with speakers from a wide range of European countries. It was great to present and debate my current research and also learn about exciting ongoing projects across Europe which will enrich my teaching on our LLM in Health, Law and Society and LLB Medical Law unit for next year.”

The conference, hosted by the University of Ghent, is organised by the European Association of Health Law which aims to strengthen the health and human rights interface throughout Europe, and to serve as an indispensable source of advice and guidance for the future of health law and policies in Europe. The next European Association of Health Law Conference will be held in Spring 2024.

Further information

Dr. Oliver Quick is the Co-Director of the Centre for Health, Law, and Society. Other publications from Dr. Quick include:

  1. Regulating Patient Safety: The End of Professional Dominance?
  2. Duties of Candour in Healthcare: the Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth?
  3. Managing Medical Manslaughter Cases: Improving Efficiency and Transparency?
  4. Medical Manslaughter – Where Next?
  5. Expert Evidence and Medical Manslaughter: Vagueness in Action
  6. Prosecuting ‘Gross’ Medical Negligence: Manslaughter, Discretion and the Crown Prosecution Service
  7. Medical Manslaughter: the Roles of Context and Character

Dr. Quick’s original and extensive body of research on medical manslaughter has significantly impacted the policies and processes for managing the offence of manslaughter by gross negligence in healthcare.  Read the impact case study.


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