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April 05, 2022

A new report has Laid bare NHS's multi million pound blunders

In a report highlighting some of the biggest payouts for NHS A&E errors, the reasons for high profile blunders in the emergency departments have been made public.

NHS Resolution made critical findings into compensation claims relating to emergency departments in England include 16 cases where settlement fees of over £1 million was paid after life-changing errors.

According to the report, the average “high-value claim” was £2,069,029 with many of these cases related to spinal cord injuries which can have life-long impact on the patients if not detected.

In the report we see the case of a woman who suffered permanent neurological damage which has caused her to suffer bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction and loss of mobility after her spinal condition was misdiagnosed as sciatica.

Majority of the cases were on missed diagnoses of illnesses including sepsis or infection, blood clots or heart conditions, falls or errors in medication. The authors of the report also review about five suicides which could have been potentially prevented. This included one which happened inside an A&E department.

The writers said that 11% of clinical negligence claims filed with NHS Resolution in 2020/21 concerned errors in emergency departments.

These were the common reasons for claims according to the authors findings after reviewing 220 claims between 2014 and 2018.

  • Diagnostic errors
  • Missing signs as a patient was deteriorating
  • A failure to recognise the significance of repeat attendance at A&E
  • Delays in care
  • Problems with communication, including problems with different hospital departments talking to each other.

In other separate reports, the NHS also looked into claims which related to missed broken bones, hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, and falls.

It was however keen to highlight that there is a low number of compensation claims filed against emergency departments with one claim for every 17,000 “episodes” of A&E care.

Helen Vernon, chief executive of NHS Resolution, said: “These reports provide analysis of claims of patients who have attended emergency departments in England and highlight important details to support the delivery of holistic care”.

She added that “The recommendations aim to make it easier for clinicians to do the right thing to support patient healthcare planning, and enhance safer care and patient experience.”

Dr Katherine Henderson, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), also said that the RCEM welcomes the reports and sees them as opportunities for learning in order to reduce the tragedy of preventable harm to individuals, their families and even the staff involved.

In her words, “As specialty leaders and standard setters, we must use the stories and themes identified in these reports to focus our guidance and teaching and sharpen our advocacy for a better system of care modelled to deliver patient needs.”

Make a Claim For Spinal Injury

If you or your loved one has suffered spinal injury as a result of medical negligence such as an NHS misdiagnosis, you can make claims by reaching out to our spinal injury solicitors.

We understand how catastrophic such injuries are as they most times leave the patient with debilitating disabilities and life-long conditions which means that the individual will require round the clock care for the rest of life.

This is why we ensure that not only do we settle the claims quickly enough so that the individual can as much as possible put the ugly incident behind and make the most out of his or her life, we also ensure that our clients get the highest possible spinal injury compensation to reflect the severity of harm done and what is needed to have the best possible life going forward.

Furthermore, with our No Win No Fee policy, those who come to make medical negligence claims with us do not have to worry about expensive legal fees. Only that we will agree on a certain percentage which we shall deduct as “success fee” only after the case is won.

Reach out to us by calling our helplines to speak with one of our experts and let us begin the process to see that you get justice for the harm done to you.

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