Find out what you need to include in any account of your treatment and intervention with a patient as part of the information-gathering stage of any type of investigation process, usually in the form of a written statement.
If you are asked to write a report as part of an ongoing active claim against your PLI insurance, you must seek the advice of the CSP’s insurance brokers and/or the Kennedy’s clinical negligence lawyer handling your case before starting.
Before you start
- Note when the report must be submitted
- Do not exceed the submission deadline as this may have serious impacts on the progress of investigations and complaints.
- Find out who you submit your statement to
- Find out who is supporting you.
- Always get a copy of your clinical records before you start your statement.
- Make sure you understand what you are being asked to comment on.
What should be included in a statement?
- Your full name
- Your physiotherapy qualifications
- Your job title and employer / who you work for
- The length of time you have been with your employer / who you work for
- Your HCPC number
- The date and time of the incident
- The patient’s name
- The patient’s number/ identification code
- The factual description of what happened
- Your signature
- The date
- You may be asked to include a ‘statement of truth’
What do I include in my description of what happened?
- Only include events you were personally involved with
- You may need to think things that happened before, during and after the event
- State what you did/did not do
- State what you saw /heard
- State what you said / you were told by someone else
- Give full names, profession and job titles of other staff you mention in your statement
- Make it clear what evidence you are using to write your account e.g. your clinical records, a department policy, a clinical pathway
- Make it clear where you are relying on your memory to describe events. If you cannot remember something – say so; don’t make things up.
- Explain why you made the clinical decisions and judgments that you did, and if necessary describe your usual practice.
- State when you ceased to be involved in the patient’s care.
Other things to remember when writing a statement
- You are responsible for the contents of your statement.
- No-one else can help you with the content of your statement, but they can review spelling and grammar.
- Ideally, write the statement yourself.
- If someone else is typing your statement based on an oral interview, you must read the draft and ensure it properly reflects your recollection and views. You must change things you do not believe are a true reflection of your views.
- Write your statement in the first person.
- You must be honest and truthful
- Be objective and keep to the facts – do not criticise others or hospital policies
- Do not write a statement beyond your knowledge or recollection
- If you are asked to give a professional judgment, keep that judgement within your own personal scope of expertise
- Write in chronological order
- Give accurate dates and times
- Avoid ambiguity, acronyms, and jargon.
- Write in clear English, do not be humorous or pejorative
- Take your time to write your statement, it is an important document.
- Keep a copy of your statement for your records.
Need to write an Expert Witness Report?
An ‘expert witness’ report is very different to writing a statement. Expert witness reports must meet certain standards and meet specific legal rules.