Medical Mistake Claims - Simpson Millar LLP

NHS Ranked Number 1 - But Staff Tell a Different Story

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 19/06/2014

The NHS in the UK has beaten the USA to the top spot when it comes to the quality and service of healthcare. The USA came last after numerous reports of under satisfaction and heavy costs.

Who's the Fairest Of Them All?

The "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall" report conducted by the Commonwealth fund examined the healthcare systems in 11 countries including the UK, Switzerland, France and Germany. In all but 3 categories tested, the UK came out as the clear winner, ahead of Switzerland, Sweden and Australia.

This is good news for those who are tirelessly campaigning to keep the public NHS out of private hands. The NHS has recently been given a bad ride over the quality of its care and the number of scandals that have hit it over the past few years.

Good news also to those who use NHS services frequently. However, there is still unrest among the staff of the NHS.

  • 70% feel staffing levels are insufficient for them to do their jobs properly and effectively
  • Almost 54% of staff felt that their organisation did not take positive action in terms of their own personal health and wellbeing

This could lead to low morale in an environment where teamwork and upbeat attitudes could make all the difference to the quality of care provided to patients.

More Medical Mistakes to Come?

Staff who went into work when feeling unwell also felt pressure to attend, not only from their managers but from their colleagues as well. In addition to this, around 40% of staff still did not have access to hot water, soap and paper towels or alcohol rubs all the time – this could lead to the deadly spread of hospital superbugs.

Medical mistakes seem to have become a part of the fabric of the NHS, so much so that £22 billion was reserved in 2013 to deal with the levels of compensation claims the NHS anticipated they would receive. These errors can take many shapes and forms from birth injuries to misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis of illnesses. Whatever form they take, there is no excuse for them to happen.

Philomena Dagnall, Legal Executive in the Medical Negligence team at Simpson Millar LLP comments: "There is no doubt that many of the medical negligence cases we deal with are related to staff shortages and staff on the ground struggling to cope with the demands made of them."

Staffing problems and a lack of communication are things your hospital or GP should be addressing and they should not let this affect the quality of care you receive. It is important we appreciate what has made the NHS top this report, but also worth noting, if more cuts are made, more medical mistakes will occur - with some being more devastating than others.

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