An independent think tank report has identified that around 9,000 people needlessly die in the UK each year due to deficiencies in the NHS, when compared against Europe.
The report highlights that patient care has been held back when reviewing data from other European countries such as Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands.
They indicate that patients affected by cancer, stroke and heart disease are less likely to survive, and that patients are more likely to suffer complications such as blood clots, resulting in 14 more preventable deaths per 100,000 in the UK.
Such findings come shortly after a House of Commons select committee proposal to set up an investigation team, following NHS review data. It estimates that there are around 12,000 avoidable hospital deaths and more than 10,000 serious incidents within NHS England each year. This includes 338 "never events", such as surgery being carried out on the wrong part of the body/patient or leaving surgical equipment inside patients.
The NHS can be a fantastic organisation and provide world leading care, but improvements for patient safety and welfare must always be made, and both internal and external review comparisons demonstrate the need for effective change to lower the possibility of clinical negligence.
Unfortunately we still see repeated errors arising and missed opportunities to reduce risk and learn life changing lessons when problems arise, which unnecessarily put patients in danger.
We can only hope that such reports are reviewed by the NHS to demonstrate clearly and effectively how patient safety is at the centre of its work.
Tim Deeming is a Clinical Negligence Solicitor in the Cambridge Office of Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK, with expertise in supporting patients and their families following substandard clinical care.
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