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Patient Safety at Risk due to Untrained Healthcare Staff

By Principal Lawyer, Clinical and Medical Negligence

Staff are being asked to undertake complex procedures for which they have not been trained, potentially compromising patient safety. 

Unnecessary errors have been highlighted and include some cases where medication has been prescribed to the wrong person.  This however has already been highlighted by the NHS as a Never Event within its 2013 criteria, almost 18 months ago.

The NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) have provided guidance on what tasks and supervision should be provided by healthcare staff, but the BBC investigation highlights the ongoing resource issues within the NHS, and the possible complications that may arise, and could be avoided.

The RCN (Royal College of Nurses) in the East believe that this situation is predominantly due to a lack of trained nurses, placing health care assistants in dangerous situations, as well as patients.

The Cavendish Review of 2013, stemming from the Francis Inquiry surrounding the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust systemic failures, highlighted that training for health assistants was "neither sufficiently consistent, nor sufficiently supervised" and it appears that the BBC investigation echoes such ongoing concerns.

To improve patient safety and reduce risk, lessons have to be learnt from all such investigations, although it appears that this has yet to be fully embraced, based on the BBC findings.

We are acting for many individuals who have suffered substandard clinical care and are calling for the NHS to demonstrate clearly and effectively how patient safety is improving given the repeated issues that are arising.

Tim Deeming is a Senior Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK who supports patients and their families following substandard clinical care.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation for anyone suffering from the psychological effects of clinical and medical negligence. Call our expert Clinical Negligence Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online and we will call you. 

Slater and Gordon are one of the largest personal injury law firms in the UK. We can provide immediate legal representation and rehabilitation support anywhere in the UK from our offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield, Merseyside, Derby or from our meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire or in Hull, Yorkshire. 

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