Patient care survey highlights mounting potential for hospital negligence claims

There is little question that the provision of medical services has been heavily impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Here, medical negligence solicitors, Blackwater Law discuss the findings of a recent survey of NHS workers and private sector medical professionals.

Hospital negligence claims to increase?

Research compiled by YouGov has shown that 40% of NHS workers believe the quality of patient care has fallen when compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. Of these, 10% believed patient care is much lower than before. The findings could suggest that there may be an increase in the number of hospital negligence claims as a result.

Pressures on staff a cause of worry this may lea to medical negligence claims

The survey also suggests that patient-facing healthcare workers in both the NHS and private sector are facing a number of challenges. In particular, more than a third of staff who provide care for those with long-term conditions believe that they either have much less (17%) or somewhat less (19%) time than necessary to give each patient the care and attention they need. Whilst the survey does not discuss the impact of time constraints on patient care it may mean that there are more errors made by individuals and an increase in medical negligence claims as a result should patient care be adversely impact.

Additionally, the findings reveal that those caring for patients with acute or short-term health conditions are similarly facing time constraints with 13% believing they have much less time and 22% believing they have somewhat less time than necessary.

Patient care impacted by ongoing Coronavirus pandemic

As expected, the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic is having a severe consequence on patient care, with the majority of healthcare workers fearful of the impact of the pandemic on patients suffering with other conditions than COVID, such as cancer. 48% of those surveyed were very fearful of the impact on patient care and 44% were somewhat fearful. It is too early to establish what impact this will have, if any, on the numbers of hospital compensation claims as a result.

The survey also highlighted the ongoing impact that Coronavirus continues to have on NHS services, with 9% of respondents stating that normal services were not running at all and almost half of respondents (48%) stating that their normal functions continued to be heavily disrupted.

Whilst the survey is only a snapshot of NHS workers, the findings do illustrate the impact that coronavirus continues to have on patient care. Whilst every effort is being taken to progress from the pandemic, with the national vaccination programme, it remains unclear as to how long the after effects on patient care and waiting times will remain an issue.

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