SALG supports the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) Position Statement on Criminalisation of Medical Error [1], endorsed by the European Board of Anaesthesiology [2], and aligning with NHS England’s Patient Safety Incident Framework [3].

It is widely recognised in healthcare that criminalising human error can deter the transparency required to best learn from incidents. Improvements in healthcare systems are normally most effective when driven by primarily focusing on the systems that are permitting inevitable human failures rather than primarily individualising blame. Although the ASPF and their index case was US based, the same principles apply in the UK, and we would urge coroners, regulators and the crown prosecution service to refer to these statements during difficult deliberations.