Medical Mistake Claims - Simpson Millar LLP

GP Poll highlights concerns at local hospitals

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 07/05/2013

The Telegraph has reported that a recent poll carried out by Pulse magazine of more than 300 General Practitioners has found that 41% had contacted local hospitals about concerns in the last 12 months, but that no action was taken to address those concerns highlighted.

The Telegraph went on to report that in one instance a GP had raised concerns about a patient that was suffering from renal failure and who was turned away from the Accident & Emergency department yet was subsequently admitted to the intensive care unit at another hospital.

Whilst the concerned GP received a letter from the Trust acknowledging that the incident should not have occurred there were no assurances of any measures taken to prevent a similar incident, which could result in a catastrophic outcome, from happening again.

Another GP has reportedly made several complaints on behalf of his patients which have been ignored, one of which involved the care of a man with learning difficulties who had suffered long delays and drug errors.

This poll is very concerning, especially in the wake of the Staffordshire scandal.

Whilst the Francis report into the Mid Staffordshire scandal recommended a ban on gagging orders imposed on NHS whistleblowers and encouraged NHS organisations to support staff who share their concerns, and to ensure that those concerns are fully investigated, the NHS is still currently under enormous strain and given the still deeper cuts to be made, it is not surprising that there is still a target-driven culture to cut costs and a lack of clinical staff to assist resulting in a delayed response.

Nevertheless it is always helpful to raise any concerns about the standard of treatment received with the Trust in the first instance before considering litigation as this may result in a reasoned and hopefully open response which may resolve any concerns. But if not, then the response would help with the assessment of those concerns and the most appropriate action to be taken next.

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