Almost 1,000 patients are dying needlessly in hospitals every month due to errors in their care according to recent press reports. Research presented in the BMJ Quality and Safety Journal http://qualitysafety.bmj.com found that almost 12,000 deaths occurring every year could have been prevented.
Poor monitoring; misdiagnosis; medication errors and failure to replace fluids are all named as reasons for the unnecessary deaths.
A staggering 60,000 to 255,000 cases are reported of serious disability or death as a result of potential negligent care by the NHS over the course of a year. A lot of these cases were linked to the elderly who were frail and in the later stages of their lives, unable to fend for themselves and being mistreated or neglected by the NHS.
Mortality rates are also a problem and of particular concern were those at the Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. We believe that these mortality rates indicate a poor level and standard of quality of care for vulnerable patients.
This research comes after a Coroner launched a scathing attack on staff at a South London Hospital who let a 22 year old man die as a result of dehydration in his hospital bed. The young man was so desperate for medical care that he felt the need to telephone the police from his bedside to plead for a glass of water.
A further reported case of a teenage girl who died as a result of failure to carry out basic observations, such as blood pressure tests and temperature checks, proves that it is not only the elderly that are vulnerable to this sort of neglect.
We take regular calls from family members who have been left bereft as a result of failings in basic medical and nursing care that has taken a loved one from them in a tragic and untimely manner. We would like to see an enquiry into such failings in our national health service to minimise the risk of neglect for all those relying on its care.