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NHS not learning from errors?

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Today and every day, patients admitted to hospitals suffer through botched surgery, medication errors and falls.  This is medical negligence.

I read a client’s hospital notes last week and I quote from a letter written by the hospital consultant to my client’s GP:

“I am afraid we have had a number of incidents of children getting incorrect doses, often as a result of confusion regarding strengths of solution and whilst most of the time we get away with this, two weeks ago we had a death in a baby…directly attributable to the wrong dose of medication being administered”

It is shocking to see that statement in a baby’s medical records, but these mistakes happen all the time and many of these incidents go unreported.

A group of MPs have investigated the incidence of mistakes and found that a staggering 974,000 mistakes were recorded by NHS Trusts.  The MPs also found substantial under-reporting of serious incidents and deaths.  To make matters worse, the NHS has no idea of how many people die each year from “patient safety incidents”.

A Government review showed 10% of patients admitted to hospital were unintentionally harmed, costing the NHS 2.4 billion per year.  It was estimated that half the accidents could be avoided in future if lessons were learned.  The NHS admitted that 22% of all incidents in hospital go unreported.

The Government has set up a system so that mistakes can be monitored and used to promote the best ways of working.

The sheer size of the NHS means mistakes will happen and although many people are successfully treated, health workers must seek to maintain the highest possible standards.

If the public are to maintain confidence in the Health Service there must be proper procedures enforced when things go wrong.

No-one should be immune from accepting responsibility for errors – the NHS must learn from its mistakes for all our sakes.

If the NHS learned from the medical mistakes there would be less medical negligence claims to be compensated and more money available to provide the first class care that the ill need.

If you think you may have suffered an injury as a result of negligent medical treatment and would like to speak with a member of the Lester Morrill clinical negligence team, please call on 0113 245 8549 or contact us by email at help@lmlaw.co.uk .

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