25 February 2011
Hospital Funding Cuts: The Fatal Blunders List
I was reading this article on clinical negligence on the train with great interest. As a clinical negligence solicitor, I regularly act on behalf of clients who have suffered harm as a result of these types of inexcusable hospital mistakes.I remember when the initial list was drafted in 2009 which included only 8 'never events' such as operating on the wrong part of the body, leaving a surgical instrument or swab inside the body. This list has now been extended to 25 mistakes including inserting the wrong implant, wrongly preparing a high-risk injectable drug, or severely scalding a patient. Death or injury resulting from a transfusion of the wrong blood type, death by falling from an unrestricted hospital window and wrongly administering insulin are also listed. I am disappointed to note that this list excludespressure sores as I often act on behalf of bedridden elderly or disabled patients.I thoroughly agree with comments made by Peter Walsh that these mistakes are preventable with good basic nursing care. Whilst I think it is a step in the right direction to acknowledge the main types of errors that can be avoided in Hospital, I have two concerns that are raised:
- Firstly, that these blunders have occurred sufficient times for this list to be produced in the first place. In my opinion, these mistakes are preventable if basic standards of patient care and safety are adhered to by hospital staff.
- Funding - how will cutting the amount of money the hospital receive going to help prevent these mistakes from happening again? Hospitals need to ensure that patient safety and the quality of care is of an acceptable standard through training and employing more and better qualified staff. Surely cutting budgets is not the answer?
I am interested to see what further mistakes will be added to this list 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.
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