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.

Following a Freedom of Information Act (2000) request, Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors in Essex have discovered that the nine NHS Trusts operating in Essex reported a significant number of  ‘Serious Incidents’ having taken place in the reporting year 2015-16.

Breakdown of Serious Incidents at Essex NHS Trusts:

Below is a table presenting the number of Serious Incidents reported by Essex NHS Trusts across Essex.

Essex NHS Trust Reported Serious Incidents 15/16
Barking Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust 184
Basildon & Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 162
Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust 147
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust 83
Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust 134
North Essex University Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 78
North Essex University Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 62
Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 124
The Princes Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust 61
Total 1035

Serious Incidents are described by the NHS as:

“Serious Incidents include acts or omissions in care that result in; unexpected or avoidable death, unexpected or avoidable injury resulting in serious harm – including those where the injury required treatment to prevent death or serious harm, abuse, Never Events, incidents that prevent (or threaten to prevent) an organisation’s ability to continue to deliver an acceptable quality of healthcare services and incidents that cause widespread public concern resulting in a loss of confidence in healthcare services.”

(Serious Incident Framework: Supporting learning to prevent recurrence 7)

Whilst the NHS does not set out a definitive list of what is and is not a Serious Incident, such mistakes, errors and accidents include:

  • unexpected or avoidable death of a patient,
  • unexpected or avoidable injury leading to patient harm,
  • acts or omissions that constitute neglect of a patient,
  • unexpected or avoidable injury requiring additional healthcare treatment so as to prevent death or serious harm,
  • occurrence of a Never Event.

Where a Serious Incident is recorded, this may be an indication that medical negligence has occurred. Patients who have been the victim of medical negligence may be entitled to medical negligence compensation and should seek specialist legal advice from a solicitor such as those at Blackwater Law, based in Essex.

Comment from an Essex medical negligence solicitor:

Being based in Essex, Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors are well-positioned to comment on these worrying statistics. Jason Brady, Head of Blackwater Law’s specialist team of medical negligence solicitors, commented:

“These figures are a concern, mistakes and errors on the part of medical professionals can have a devastating impact on patients and their families. As a medical negligence solicitor, I see how patients’ lives are changed forever due to these mistakes and errors.

“It is crucial that in addition to simply reporting when Serious Incidents occur, Essex NHS Trusts take action to review and improve procedures so that mistakes and errors are minimised in the future.”

Why has Blackwater Law collated this Serious Incident data?

Data on the number of Serious Incidents reported by NHS Trusts across England and Wales is not published publicly and is therefore not accessible without making a request for this information under the Freedom of Information Act (2000).

We at Blackwater Law believe this information is critical to gauging the performance levels of NHS Trusts. It is also important to identify those NHS Trusts reporting proportionately higher numbers of Serious Incidents as this may be an indicator of higher rates of medical negligence and lower quality patient care provision at these Trusts, which would be of public concern.

In addition to collating and reviewing data on reported Serious Incidents, Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors also analyse data on Never Events reported by NHS Trusts across England and Wales. Never Events are the most critical of Serious Incidents and are so severe and such fundamental errors, that they should never occur.  Never events include errors made by medical professionals such as:

  • Performing a procedure on the wrong patient
  • Performing a procedure o the wrong part of a patient’s body
  • Leaving medical apparatus inside a patient’s body following a procedure

NHS Trusts in Essex reported a total of 12 Never Events in the year 2015-16. This is included in the figure of 1035 reported Serious Incidents, with these 12 being the most severe of such incidents.

Have you or a family member been the victim of a ‘Serious Incident’?

If a mistake or error was made in the delivery of your care, to the extent this would be classified by the Trust as a Serious Incident, you should have been notified by the Trust. If you have received such a notice, it may be that the mistake or error made constitutes medical negligence. Patients that have been the victim of medical negligence may be entitled to claim medical negligence compensation for the pain and suffering they went through as a result, as well as compensation for any loss of earnings, due to having to be off work for example.

It may be though that a Serious Incident was reported in relation to a mistake or error made in the delivery of your care but you were not notified. If you believe an error was made in delivering your care, whether or not you received notice of a Serious Incident having occurred from the Trust, you may be entitled to medical negligence compensation.

Free initial medical negligence compensation advice:

To find out whether you may be able to claim compensation, call Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors today on 0800 083 5500. You will receive free initial advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitor.  Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors advise and represent clients across England and Wales in making claims for medical negligence compensation. The specialist team at Blackwater Law is independently recognised by The Legal 500 – a directory of the UK’s top law firms – as being one of the leading sources of medical negligence claim advice in Essex.