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.
Teeth whitening has rapidly become extremely popular in the United Kingdom. However, to have the treatment conducted professionally can be very expensive and many people have therefore turned to the “home kits” which can be purchased online or from dental practices.
When purchasing a product from a dental practice it can be readily assumed that the product which is being sold is fit for purpose and complies with the safety regulations.
The Hull and East Riding news paper reported on 4 August 2012, that Dr Iqbal Kathrada, of Freetown Way, and three dental practices had been fined thousands of pounds as a result of selling teeth whitening products to their patients which contained a bleaching agent which was nearly 100 times above the safe limit.
A woman local to Hull had purchased the kit and noticed that the product had stained her clothes after she had used it. As a result of this she contacted the Trading Standards who launched an investigation to look into the product which was described as a “professional home kit”.
Without this lady coming forward the prosecution may not have ever taken place and the destruction of the stock would not have been ordered.
Whilst this may be a rare case, it shows how important it is for people to speak up when a product which they have purchased legitimately is not fit for purpose.
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Following our post earlier this week focusing on needless hospital deaths, there have since been reports in the press regarding two recent cases where women have died needlessly due to poor maternity care.
A recent letter from the medical director and nurse director at the Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Women’s & Children’s Hospital sent to all maternity staff criticised the care provided to the two women and admitted that the deaths may have been avoidable.
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.