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Clinical Negligence: Some Important Questions...

There are so many questions.

  • Would I prefer to be eaten by a shark or a crocodile?
  • Do cuts to the NHS budget or plans to restructure the NHS create the greatest threat to healthcare services?

63% of NHS bosses think financial cuts are the more significant issue than restructuring of the NHS according to a survey by the NHS Confederation.

The headlines reporting these results give the impression that they must be correct.Of course this is a survey of people responsible principally for running hospitals. From a GP’s perspective or from that of the patient the answer may be different. It seems clear that both represent significant threats.

According to the British Medical Association, 60% of doctors believe that Andrew Lansley’s reforms will have a negative effect on their ability to provide healthcare. The Chief Executive of the NHS, David Nicholson, warns that hospitals will have to cut services as a result of funding cuts and that some hospitals could end up being run for profit.

There seems therefore to be widespread agreement among health professionals that the level of care and treatment patients receive is not going to improve over the coming years and it is patients who will suffer most. My working are hours are spent representing the victims of medical errors I am acutely aware of the human cost behind this debate.

Ultimately the question of which is worse may be like medieval scholars arguing over how many angels can dance on a pin-head or like rearranging deck-chairs on the Titanic. And would I prefer to be eaten by a shark of a crocodile? Neither is on my menu of choice and I cannot quite decide between the two.

Paul Sankey 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 and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.