Why Suing The NHS Will Become More Common13th Jul 2016
Our sympathies go out to the NHS. To the doctors, nurses and other clinicians – but most of all to the patients.
HM Government must cut the £2.4 billion deficit run up by health trusts, warns the King’s Fund think tank.
So more NHS jobs will be lost and waiting lists will lengthen.
“It is no longer credible to argue that that the NHS can continue to meet increasing demand for services, deliver current standards of care and stay within budget,” warns King’s Fund senior policy adviser Helen McKenna.
This makes disturbing reading – because our medical negligence lawyers know what is coming next.
Further cuts to an already beleaguered NHS will mean more medical errors by overworked clinicians.
Patients will suffer. Misdiagnosis of symptoms, cancers being missed, errors during surgery, greater risk of infections, lack of proper follow up care, patients getting overlooked in a overburdened system.
It does not bear thinking about – but think about it you must, because greater vigilance is your only defence as a patient.
Cutting an NHS that is already at breaking point will cost the government more in the long run because more patients will be harmed and more will then claim compensation.
Any savings gained by having one fewer doctor or nurse on duty will be wiped out by a multi-million lawsuit for medical negligence. It is sadly inevitable.
Patients may also be more likely to sue the NHS for another reason…
Those treated well by caring and friendly NHS staff may in the past have been inclined to forgive the odd minor mistake, dismissing it as ‘one of those things’.
But patients treated less well by stressed out, snappy and unfriendly staff may be less forgiving in future.
Ultimately, the demographics are not in the NHS’s favour. Life for the health service can only ever become more challenging because people are living longer.
And the next flu season is only a matter of months away.
Winter is coming.
Contact Coles Miller Partner David Simpson, head of our Clinical Negligence Department, on 01202 355695.