News

7-Day NHS ‘impossible’ under current financial strain

After Jeremy Hunt’s Department of Health established a link in 2015 between increased patient mortality rates and weekend-admissions, the Health Secretary set in motion plans to deliver a 7-day NHS that would seek to address this. The ‘Weekend Effect’ as it has since been labelled, was first commented on by Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors in 2014, when we commented on the findings of a study into surgical procedures and survival rates published in the British Medical Journal. Click here to read the ‘Possible increased risk of clinical negligence on certain days of the week’ article.

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The cost of traumatic brain injury to the UK

The costs of Traumatic Brain Injury to the UK as a whole are not as well understood as its immediate consequences, in part due to difficulties in quantifying human emotional cost, and also because of how brain injuries affect some victims more severely than others. Nonetheless figures from a wider European study commissioned by the European Brain Council and summarised in Olesen et al. (2012) can be extracted to give some basic estimates of financial cost in the UK.

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Essex NHS Trusts report 1035 Serious Incidents impacting care

NHS Trusts in Essex reported 1035 serious medical incidents and errors impacting patient care in the year 2015-16 according to official NHS data collated by medical negligence solicitors in Essex.

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‘Never Events’ Continue to Elevate Risk of Clinical Negligence in UK Hospitals

According to data released by health watchdog NHS Improvements, July 2016 saw a continuance in upward trend of “never event” occurrence in UK hospitals, highlighting a worrying trend towards greater risks of clinical negligence facing hospital patients. “Never events” represent critical, catastrophic failures in the delivery of care that rank so seriously they should never in fact be allowed to happen. When they do, patients are left in a position where they may be entitled to clinical negligence compensation as recompense for unnecessary suffering and loss, making it all the more important for a cash-strapped NHS to prevent them, if prevention of suffering is not reason enough. Nonetheless, NHS Improvements recorded no fewer than 31 July Never Events; up three on the preceding month and averaging one for every day of the month.

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High Rate of ‘Never Events’ Recorded in Quarter 1 2016

A total of 91 never events were recorded between January and March of 2016, and the high rate of “never events” recorded in Quarter 1 2016 by health watchdog NHS Improvements suggests a worrying trend towards high rates of “never events” happening in NHS hospitals across the country. Defined as failures in care provision so serious and fundamental that they should in fact never happen, “never events” represent a concern not just to patients – who suffer unnecessarily as a result of them – but to healthcare providers and to clinical negligence solicitors, as victims may be entitled to claim medical negligence compensation as a result of their undue suffering and any financial loss. Despite this, the period ranging from the beginning of April to end of June 2016 has seen high rates of never events, to the point where they occurred at least two in every three days on average; a figure that still shows no indication of slowing.

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High Rate of Delayed Diagnoses Amongst Bowel Cancer Patients

A September 2016 study released by the British Journal of Cancer suggests that as many as one in five UK bowel cancer patients identified through emergency diagnoses are exhibiting “red flag symptoms” that should have been picked up at an earlier stage of medical examination. This suggests that there is a high rate of delayed diagnoses amongst bowel cancer patients. As many as 16% are also thought to have seen their GP at least 3 times in the build up to their delayed diagnosis of cancer, implying many patients could potentially be eligible for clinical negligence compensation where GPs may be reasonably culpable for the delayed diagnosis of cancers.

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