Clinical negligence and concerns for patient safety

The NHS has seen increased pressures in recent years brought about by the Covid pandemic and the decline in staffing levels. It’s therefore understandable that we’ve begun to see an increase in clinical negligence cases.

There have been a number of conclusions to inquiries in the news where a lack of care has caused injury and sometimes death to patients highlighting the concerns for patient safety in hospitals across the country.

Last year, according to data shared by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) there were 407 ‘never events’ in the NHS in England. These are the most serious patient safety incidents that are never meant to occur and yet they are happening at a rate of eight per week.

Even one of these incidents should be a ‘red flag’ to senior management that safety procedures are not as robust as they should be. Yet APIL found that more than 120 English hospital trusts had recorded such an event, from operating on the wrong area/ limb to foreign objects being left in patients' bodies after surgery.

However, APIL’s analysis found that these failures in duty of care have not suddenly increased post-pandemic but have been steadily rising since 2010 when the NHS was first mandated to record such incidents.

In the most recent statistics for the year 2020/21 there were 12,208 of these types of incidents. This is an average of 33 every day which has prompted APIL to call for the Government to appoint a patient safety commissioner to improve patient safety and provide a link between patients, regulators, healthcare providers, and policymakers.

At Poole Townsend we give legal advice on a number of different types of clinical negligence claims. These have ranged from undiagnosed fractures to more serious cases such as mismanaged surgery leaving our clients significantly disabled with life changing injuries.

We have also supported clients where there has been a failure to diagnose conditions at an early stage, meaning that the outcome for the patient is much less favourable.

If you are unhappy with the treatment you have received from an NHS trust, private practice or healthcare professionals, we can help you make a formal complaint and support your claim for compensation. Our clinical negligence solicitors can deal with many of these types of cases on a No Win – No Fee basis.

Get in touch with our expert team and discover how we can help.

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