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Serious Incidents adverse events include incidents affecting the quality of patient care being delivered, including avoidable and unexpected injury and harm being caused. In the worst cases such incidents can also involve the death of a patient.
Blackwater Law published a report on in February 2018 showing the number of Serious Incidents recorded by NHS hospitals and trusts servicing the population of Essex. The report in fact identified the number of Serious Incidents being recorded by 235 NHS trusts and Welsh health boards across England and Wales in the financial year 2016/2017, the most current financial year data.
Across England and Wales, over 20,000 Serious Incidents were recorded in the period. Below are the numbers of Serious Incidents recorded by each of the NHS trusts servicing Essex:
Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust – 209
Basildon & Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Trust – 109
Colchester Hospital University NHS Trust – 130
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust – 95
Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust – 111
North Essex University Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – 97
South Essex University Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – 71
Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – 130
The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust – 26
Commenting on the research and the Serious Incidents recorded by NHS trusts in Essex, Jason Brady, medical negligence solicitor and one of the lawyers behind the research stated:
“978 is a considerable number of Serious Incidents to have been recorded. It is important that investigations into every Serious Incident are undertaken thoroughly by each trust and that patients are informed and involved where they are impacted. Only through this can trusts learn from errors that may have been made to ensure the same Serious Incident is not repeated.”
Whilst this research by Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors identifies the frequency with which Serious Incidents are being recorded by Essex NHS trusts and hospitals, these figures, on their own, are not an accurate indicator of the quality of care being provided by these trusts. The number of Serious Incidents being recorded by a Trust will vary according to the number of patient contacts and the range of services being provided.
As well as involving avoidable and unexpected injury, harm and death of patients, Serious Incidents are also recorded where systematic and procedural failures occur, impacting an organisations ability to deliver quality healthcare services; as well as a wide variety of other events deemed serious enough to warrant a heightened level of investigation.