Campaigner Will Powell joins Mistreatment.com- Legal Duty of Candour-‘Robbie’s Law’

27 October 2014

Campaigner Will Powell joins Mistreatment.com- Legal Duty of Candour-‘Robbie’s Law’Campaigner Will Powell joins Mistreatment.com- Legal Duty of Candour-‘Robbie’s Law’

photo credits: Will Powell

Mistreatment.com are delighted to announce Will Powell as a new addition to its advisory team in a renewed move to implement further awareness about the legal duty of candour and to raise patient rights awareness in England & Wales.

Will, who was recently given a national campaign award for patient safety by the charity Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) and a Freedom of Information award in 1999, presented by the then Home Secretary, Jack Straw, has continually demonstrated a tireless dedication to change the stance of the law regarding medical transparency. His campaigns to introduce a legal duty of candour-‘Robbie’s Law’- have been a hallmark of patient care and access to justice and an inspiration behind the creation of Mistreatment.com.

Will’s son Robbie died in 1990, aged 10, from the rare but treatable condition, Addison's disease, which doctors failed to diagnose when it was suspected 4 months before the child died. The test to confirm the disease was ordered by a consultant paediatrician but wasn't carried out. The Powells were unaware of the suspicion and the need for the test until after Robbie died. 

Despite being seen seven times by five GPs in the previous two weeks, Robbie collapsed at home on April, 17, 1990 and his father drove him to hospital himself. The GP who had been called out twice that day to examine Robbie had refused Will’s request to call an ambulance. On arrival at the hospital, just 30 minutes later, Will watched his youngest son take his last conscious breath.

Since that time, Will has been determined to raise truth and accountability within medical practice. He has been campaigning not only over Robbie’s case but on behalf of all patients and their loved ones for “Robbie’s Law”- a “free-standing legal duty of candour for all healthcare professionals”- which would force healthcare providers to inform families when things go wrong.

Will has been determined to raise truth and accountability within medical practice. He has been campaigning not only over Robbie’s case but on behalf of all patients and their loved ones for “Robbie’s Law”- a “duty of candour”- which would force healthcare providers to inform families when things go wrong. 

His quest to provide advice, guidance and support has been an inspiration to Mistreatment.com in providing assistance to those who have felt let down by the healthcare system, and who have felt that there has been a lack of transparency in uncovering what exactly happened regarding the care they or a loved one received from hospitals and medical professionals. As a consequence of Robbie's case highlighting the absence of a legal duty of candour the General Medical Council changed its guidelines in 1998 to make it clear to doctors that they had an ethical and professional duty to be honest if not a legal one.

He will be assisting Mistreatment.com with its patient and healthcare endeavours and contributing assistance and guidance for patients and their loved ones who are attempting to understand the exact circumstances behind potential medical mistreatment and negligence. He will also be exclusively sharing all his latest efforts in attempting to bring a full legal duty of candour into implementation across the UK and to help Mistreatment.com in providing greater access to justice where there has been medical mistreatment.

"I am delighted to be officially part of the Mistreatment.com team. What impresses me most about Mistreatment.com is that they genuinely care about victims of the NHS who do not have a claim for compensation but have grounds for complaint" [Will] said on the eve of the announcement, further adding: 

"Mistreatment.com offers free initial support to such victims and I am pleased to provide my 24 years personal experiences with NHS complaints and medical negligence litigation."