Putting Things Right provides guidance to the NHS on the definitions of harm in relation to PSI’s. There are 5 categories of harm within the guidance;
Establishing the exact degree of harm caused by the incident will often require patient and/or family input into the assessment. In broad terms harm is described as something that was caused by the COVID-19 infection;
The death of someone who has tested positive becomes progressively less likely to be directly due to COVID-19 as time passes, and more likely to be due to another cause. However, there is no agreed cut-off after which COVID-19 can be excluded as a likely cause and sadly, some people die from their infection many weeks later.
The framework provides reference to World Health Organisation guidance to help determine how responsible COVID-19 was to a patient’s sad death, particularly when other health issues existed before the COVID-19 infection was caught. Where death has occurred, investigations will consider the findings of mortality reviews and medical examiners reviews to determine to what extent COVID-19 caused the death.