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Clinical Negligence Solicitor Michelle Woolls on Hospital Negligence

Department of Health figures suggest that in the first half of this year, nearly 67,000 hospital patients waited up to 12 hours on Accident and Emergency Department trolleys before being given a bed on a ward. Many patients are often 'parked' in the corridors or in a side room. This can result in a lack of access to call buttons, toilet facilities and appropriate monitoring equipment.
It reminds me of one of my Medical Negligence cases where a very sick lady was sent to A&E by her GP with a letter saying that she was suffering from suspected Sepsis (potentially fatal blood poisoning). She was reviewed by a triage nurse upon admission, to whom it would have been very obvious that she was extremely sick. Despite this, and despite the letter from her GP, she was not seen by a doctor for four hours. Even once she had been seen by the doctor, she waited a further 5 hours on a trolley before being taken to theatre for emergency surgery. Unfortunately, by this time she had deteriorated to such an extent that she died a few days later. Whilst medical staff are having to do their best to work within an over-stretched health system, one can only hope that these figures prompt action to prevent further cases such as the one I have just described.

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