Medical Mistake Claims - Simpson Millar LLP
 
 

NHS Staff to Blame for Death or Significant Harm of 250 Patients Each Day

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 14/05/2014

Shocking figures have been released, showing that members of NHS staff cause the death of, or significant harm, to 250 patients each day. Peter Walsh, from the charity Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA), said, "These figures are a timely reminder that there is an awful long way to go."

Long Way Ahead

The figure of 250 comes from NHS England, who identified 45,476 serious errors within six months. Of these, 1958 led to death and the remainder involved serious harm to the patient. The kinds of errors involved were quite typical of what we see at Simpson Millar LLP, including the wrong diagnosis, the wrong treatment, pressure sores, overdoses, delayed treatment and surgery in the wrong area.

These aren't the only statistics that raise an eyebrow. When near misses are also taken into account, the data from NHS England shows there was a total of 725,314 safety incidents between April and September 2013, though the majority were very minor. It is worth pointing out from a medical negligence point of view that the law doesn't recognise near misses as claims. However, these figures do indicate the amount of risk that the NHS is taking on a day to day basis.

So Why Is This?

The NHS response is that staff are now more honest, rather than that care has got any worse. However, we have recently discussed how many people would just like an apology but suffer because of the culture of denial that still exists.

Dr Mike Durkin, NHS England's director of patient safety said the figures were 'hugely encouraging' on the basis that they show more people are openly able to discuss errors. This is quite a bold move in the light of reporting a higher amount of deaths and injuries, and is speculative at best.

The statistics don't focus on one particular issue, and the errors made are the ones we often see time and time again. Therefore it seems reasonable to agree with Mr Walsh and AvMA's comment, there is still a long way to go, despite Jeremy Hunts efforts to make the NHS more open, transparent, and safe.

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