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Rising NHS Waiting Times could lead to Medical Negligence

Waiting times for many forms of NHS treatment are up according to research from the Patients Association - despite the Government’s pledge that they would not rise. For many types of treatment - knee replacements, hernia repairs and gallstones - delays are up by around 10%.
 
This represents a real human cost. These conditions are painful and disabling. People suffer unnecessarily whilst they wait for treatment. In some cases people become worse whilst they wait. Their condition becomes more serious and the treatment they need is more extensive. In others, they are unable to work and lose out on pay.
 
One of the issues I see in my work is people suffering because they have to wait when they really need urgent treatment. Sometimes this is simply because of wrong decisions. At other times it is because people are forgotten and fall out of the system.  
 
Sometimes delays are a nuisance - expensive and painful - but do little long term harm. But sometimes they are more than that. I am currently acting for numerous people who have suffered catastrophic outcomes because of Medical Negligence in the form of delays in carrying out NHS treatment. One is no longer able to work as a police officer - and has been unable to work for 4 years - because a serious elbow injury was simply left untreated despite review after review. Another is an elderly lady whose fractured tibia failed to unite. Again she was treated as a non-urgent case for 3 years by which time her condition was so bad that she may be facing Amputation. So the news that waiting times are increasing is yet another wake-up call. It is not enough for ministers to produce vague, reassuring measuring. We have the statistics. We know what is happening. This is not an issue to duck.

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