By Sean Gordon, Senior Solicitor, Neil Hudgell Solicitors
The debate surrounding the declining quality of hospital care continues to rage, as local NHS outlets, Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham, announce funding cuts of £24m.
Despite having already been forced to make savings of £95m since 2010, both Hull Royal and Castle Hill are now set to experience further financial strain, with job losses and increased workloads expected across the board.
Staff leaving the profession through “natural wastage”, such as retirement or resignation, may not be replaced, leaving remaining employees to cope with the fallout, and hospital beds could also be reduced further.
Although NHS bosses remain resolute that cuts will simply result in a more streamlined and productive system, this outlook is not one shared by patients.
In a spot poll of 100 people carried out by Neil Hudgell Solicitors, 89% believed staffing cuts to a local hospital would have a negative impact on maintaining high-quality patient care.
Strain on NHS hospital staff is already at an all-time high and projected figures suggest the pressure is not set to abate any time soon.
It is logical, therefore, to assume that further NHS staff cuts are likely to have a truly detrimental effect on the quality of hospital care, and further increase the risk of the kind of negligence occurring which will in turn give rise to claims for clinical negligence. Surely the more sensible approach would be to aim to invest more money into the service, to decrease the chances of negligence occurring in the first place. Or is that too simple?