Health

Heathcare under fire for mistakes that endanger patients

The NHS Confederation website recently reported that NHS expenditure increased from £64 billion in 2003/2004 to £113 billion in 2014/2015. Treating over 1 million people every 36 hours in the UK, and admitting 15 million people to hospital every year, the total A&E admissions in 2014/2015 reached a staggering 22.3 million people. With figures expected to rise, it is no wonder that the BBC News online recently reported that there are a growing number of people claiming compensation for negligence related matters in hospitals and within the health authorities across the UK.

Medical negligence can have life long effects. Whilst the focus should rightly be on preventing mistakes within the healthcare profession, courts have a clear approach to compensating those who have been affected by negligence within the healthcare system. In many cases, mistakes as a result of medical treatment can have long term physical and psychological effects.

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One of the most high profile cases of negligence was outlined in the mid-Staffordshire hospital scandal. In March 2015, over a million pages of evidence were submitted to an independent inquiry into the failings of the Staffordshire NHS trust. Over 160 witnesses came forward to provide evidence in the inquiry which revealed that there were between 400 and 1200 deaths that were above what would have been expected.

The inquiry’s report highlighted serious failings in the care and management of the hospital. Patients were let down by poor financial decisions and treatment by inexperienced medical professionals. Whilst there are processes to learn from, mistakes within the healthcare profession leave families and patients who have been affected by negligence living with the consequences for the rest of their lives.

Roper James, is a legal firm leading the charge for patients and handles cases which have included a client who underwent surgery for a shoulder replacement which failed due to him receiving substandard care. Roper James handled the case on a no-win no-fee basis and the client received £25,000 in compensation. A further example included the family of a gentleman who was receiving end-of-life care. As a result of poor nursing care the gentleman fell out of the hospital bed several times. The gentleman subsequently passed away and compensation was paid to his estate.

Head of Clinical Negligence at Roper James Solicitors, Rachel Eyre, sees examples of such medical errors every day. We are often horrified at some of the stories we hear of, some of these real life stories include orthopaedic issues with joint replacements, unnecessary surgeries and substandard gynaecological procedures. These instances are serious and will often lead to a significant change to life or even death in the worst case. We do everything we can to help our clients and their families in such situations as we fully understand the trauma such errors can have in their lives” she said.

Substandard care can happen in a variety of different ways both in hospital and through local health practitioners. An example includes failing to prescribe the correct medication, misdiagnosis or not providing an acceptable standard of care to a patient. But what happens when people close ranks when something goes wrong? Often you need some assistance to find out the truth and hold those at fault to account.

There are some key points to be aware of when considering making a claim for compensation for poor treatment in hospital. Firstly it is important to seek legal advice at the first available opportunity to ensure that you follow the correct processes, secondly, if you or a family member are experiencing ongoing issues then again, it is vital that you discuss this with a suitably qualified and experienced legal professional without delay to seek early intervention.

If you, or a family member believe that you have experienced a substandard of care whilst receiving medical treatment then please complete the form below and your enquiry will be reviewed by the specialist Roper James team who will be happy to speak with you and answer your questions, don’t worry we will not pass or sell your details to data houses.

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Roper James Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority; SRA number 537143. Details of the professional rules that apply may be viewed on the Solicitors Regulation Authority website at www.sra.org.uk/rules/. Roper James Solicitors is the trading name of Roper James Ltd, Company registration 07231579. The Directors of the firm are solicitors of England and Wales. VAT Registration No: 992 7377 62

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