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Staff Shortages Pose A Greater Medical Negligence Risk

Posted on Tuesday 2nd September 2014 by David Simpson

News that the NHS is streamlining its checks on foreign nurses due to staff shortages does not bode well for patients.David Simpson - Partner, Coles Miller

Staffing issues such as this are a key warning sign that our clinical negligence lawyers watch for when investigating complaints on behalf of clients.

Every day we read more reports of the NHS struggling to cope with the increasing demands of a rising (and ageing) population.

Complaints against the NHS have risen to 479 per day: 174,872 for the 2013-14 year – compared with 162,019 in 2012/13 and 131,022 in 2007/08.

It makes scary reading. Of even greater concern is the thought that this might be a mere fraction of the true problem.

Patients watchdog Healthwatch England says there were 500,000 unreported cases of unsatisfactory patient care across the NHS in the past two years, based on the findings of its own survey.

And let’s not forget the private hospitals.

Private sector healthcare providers are not as forthcoming with their data as their public counterparts.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) data shows that more than 800 patients died unexpectedly in private hospitals in England between October 2010 and April 2014. There were more than 900 serious injuries.

Again – based on the data patterns we have seen in the NHS – we fear that other cases are going unreported because not all patients may be complaining.

Victims deserve compensation. They deserve apologies, explanations and reassurance that everything possible will be done to stop similar medical errors happening to other patients.

But taking legal action may be a big step for some people – even though they need the money to fund treatment to help put right what has been done to them.

We can help.

To find out how we can assist you – no win, no fee – contact the head of Coles Miller’s Clinical Negligence department, Partner David Simpson on 01202 673011.

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