David Simpson Partner Coles Miller

Are NHS Mortality Rates Even Worse Than Feared?9th Feb 2015

by David Simpson on 9th Feb 2015

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News of 1,000 avoidable deaths in the NHS is shocking enough – but to then read that the death toll is 1,000 per month is appalling.David Simpson Partner Coles Miller

Twelve thousand people are dying needlessly every year because of failures in the NHS.

And that is just the number of cases that the notoriously secretive NHS is prepared to admit.

What is even worse – if it could get any worse – is that the reports do not mention the number of victims who survived.

What about all those who sustained pain, suffering and life changing injuries due to NHS medical negligence?

As UK-wide clinical negligence solicitors, we know from experience that there are probably any number of avoidable incidents that the NHS is trying to avoid admitting are errors.

If it were not so, why – in our experience – does the NHS spend so much time and money trying to defend meritorious medical negligence claims?

And why is the hope of continuous improvement in the system being stifled by clinicians’ reluctance to criticise the previous errors of their colleagues?

Are they closing ranks? Or do they fear being tainted by association? Either way, it is the taxpaying patients who suffer.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is keen to establish a league table of avoidable deaths. This coincides with news that many deaths were probably avoided at 11 failing English health trusts that were put into special measures.

It’s a start – but the focus should not be only on avoidable deaths. Avoidable injuries should also be included.

We know the NHS complaints culture is far from perfect. Health Service Ombudsman Dame Julie Mellor has found that 40 per cent of investigations into complaints by patients were ineffective.

So how can you be certain that the NHS will investigate your complaint correctly? Sadly, you can’t.

The surest way for you to find out what went wrong, to get an apology from the NHS and to try and stop it happening to others is to call in specialist medical negligence solicitors. Find out more here.

Our no win no fee solicitors – who are recommended in the UK Legal 500 – can help you cut through the bureaucracy and get the compensation you need to fund your recovery.

For more information, contact the head of our Clinical Negligence Department, Partner David Simpson.

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.