15 February 2011
75% of Hospital tests "Not Followed Up"
I was very disturbed to read this article recently in the Nursing Times. A systematic review of hospital tests confirmed that as many as 3 out of 4 tests are not followed up. This unfortunately has a significant impact on the level of care provided to many patients.
It may mean that patients' diagnosis are missed or delayed or patients will not get the appropriate treatment required. Such a simple mistake may even result in death in the most extreme of cases.
I have recently been instructed by a client whose mother was never informed that she had bone cancer, despite the Hospital being aware of her diagnosis four months previously. She was in agony in the months leading to her eventual death. She was not offered chemotherapy nor the appropiate drugs to manage her pain levels.
Her quality of life was drastically reduced and she was not able to organise her personal affairs. Sadly it seems that this patient falls into the category whereby two thirds of missed diagnoses ended up harming the patient. This trend is set to continue unless measures are taken in hospital settings to prevent this from happening in the future.
Amy Bond is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.