David Simpson - Partner, Coles Miller

Protect Yourself From NHS Negligence30th Oct 2013

by David Simpson on 30th Oct 2013

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England’s hospital statistics make grim reading – one-in-four trusts are at “high risk” of compromising patient safety, according to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).David Simpson - Partner, Coles Miller

Of the 161 NHS trusts, 44 had higher than expected death rates or were more likely to harm patients (putting them in the two worst performing of the CQC’s six bands).

Band 1 – the worst performers – includes the Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Band 5 – the second-best – includes Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

CQC inspectors were in Bournemouth earlier this month. They spoke with patients, campaigners and healthcare professionals at a public meeting.

One of the questions put to them was a simple choice: which hospital is better in your opinion – Bournemouth or Poole?

Answering that question is complex. Preferences depend on a range of factors, notably the condition being treated. Different hospitals have different strengths.

CQC inspectors urge patients to view the NHS Choices website. It offers reviews of hospitals and their performance to help patients choose and book.

And there’s the rub. If you want better healthcare, you must take greater responsibility for it yourself. Last August’s Berwick Report into standards of care described patients as “co-producers” of their own care.

So do not be passive. Be proactive. Research the healthcare options available to you and your loved ones. Take decisions. Tell the healthcare providers what you expect from them.

And if you believe that something is not right then speak up and make a written record of it.

Mistakes by doctors are rare but it pays to be cautious. Call our medical negligence team if you are concerned about the way you or your family have been treated by the NHS.

Contact the head of our clinical negligence team, Coles Miller Partner David Simpson for free initial advice.

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