A report by Robert Francis QC into the events at Stafford Hospital has set out plans to deal with medical negligence within the National Health Service.
The medical facility became headline news after figures showed between 400 and 1,200 more deaths occurred there than the expected national average. Subsequent inquiries revealed that those patients may have been neglected in favour of the hospital pursuing government targets and cost cutting measures.
Reports included receptionists deciding on which A&E patients to treat, nurses lacking the training to use medical equipment and inexperienced doctors being placed in charge of the critically ill. Several senior staff members resigned or were fired in the wake of the incident.
The Francis Report studied the events at Stafford and has come back with no fewer than 290 guidelines as to how the NHS can improve care and reduce the risk of medical negligence.
It looked at how staff had allowed such poor care to take place, why the concerns of patients and their families had been ignored and why it took the hospital so long to recognise and react to the problems.
Among the most crucial recommendations put forward were:
- The need to apologise to patients and families
- Make the implementation of high quality care a national priority, particularly for older patients
- Recognise that Stafford is not an isolated problem and that these issues are relevant throughout the NHS
- Develop an action plan to address the concerns outlined in the report
The report also seeks to make it a criminal offence for hospitals to attempt to hide instances of poor care or mistakes in made during the course of treatment.
What should you do if you are the victim of medical negligence?
While there are plenty of hospitals in the UK that do a good job and provide an excellent standard of care, what this long running case has shown is that many patients throughout the country have been the victim of medical negligence.
If you feel that your care was not up to the required standard, and that this resulted in you becoming ill or injured, or made a pre-existing condition worse, you may be eligible to make a medical negligence claim.
Our team of personal injury solicitors can help with a wide range of medical issues, including misdiagnosis, surgical errors, pharmaceutical mistakes, poor hospital care or hygiene leading to illness or infection and defective medical equipment.
Contact Sheldon Davidson Solicitors today for free, no obligation advice to see if our solicitors can help with your medical negligence claim.
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