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Tag Archive: Medical Negligence Solicitors

Shocking failings and lack of action at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital has put patients at risk since 2013

negligence claims


Medical Negligence Specialists

The list of failings identified from the CQC inspection included;

  • Nurses not knowing how to use specialist equipment.
  • Nurses struggling to get hold of on-call surgeons or anaesthetists at night or when complications occurred during surgery, leading to ‘a number of near misses and unexpected patient deaths in critical care’.
  • Heart surgeons not always undertaking basic pre-operative checks designed to reduce the risk of harm to patients.
  • Consultant surgeons sometimes failing to supervise trainee surgeons while they were carrying out procedures.
  • Consultant cardiac surgeons not consistently undertaking ward rounds on the cardiac surgery ward, and not always being in theatre at appropriate times.
  • The Trust failing to monitor the risks being run by patients whose operation was cancelled or who had been waiting longer than they should have been.

Hospitals must be accountable for errors

In our work as specialists in handling cases of medical negligence, we at Hudgell Solicitors believe greater transparency and accountability for errors made on hospital wards are crucial if improvements to services – which could be the difference between life and death – are to be made.

But firstly, there has to be a willingness for the people running these health facilities to be honest with the people they are there to look after.

In this situation, it is perhaps not the completely unacceptable errors and lack of following procedures which is the most alarming aspect, but the refusal to admit and tackle repeated failings, which The Guardian newspaper has claimed may have cost 17 lives over the past three years.

Staff told the CQC inspectors of “a bullying and blame culture in theatre and critical care” which made them afraid to raise concerns and report safety incidents.

Inspectors also discovered in December that the Trust“had only recently started a quality improvement programme, despite concerns being identified in 2013 during an internal review and consultants approaching the executive team in 2014 with concerns around patient mortality and morbidity.”

Our hospitals are there to help people recover from serious injury and illness, and to save lives, but in this case, there has been a shocking lack of regard to patient safety. There appears to have been a greater motive at senior levels to brush life-costing errors under the carpet, and to protect themselves from scrutiny and accountability.

Free legal advice can help question standard of care

All patients deserve to be fully in the picture as to the standards of performance of hospitals, particularly when such significant concerns have been raised.

This issue also highlights the need for patients, and their relatives, to question any perceived standards of care, should they be unhappy with the treatment received in hospital.

We know many people feel intimidated when challenging medical professionals, and it is why our experts provide free legal advice and support in medical negligence claims.

Questions must always be asked, investigations must be carried out, and hospitals making such mistakes, must be held responsible.

 

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09/03/2016 No Comments

Should health and wellbeing apps receive heavier regulations?

UntitledThe increase of a health conscious nation has led to a significant boom in medical health and wellbeing apps, with over 500 million users in the UK. The convenience of an instant diagnosis can be appealing, but some health apps offer inconsistent or inaccurate data. Without sufficient regulation, consumers could be at risk of misdiagnosis and avoid seeking appropriate medical advice.

British Life Science minister, George Freeman, stressed the importance and benefits of health apps by stating that: “We need to continue to encourage patients and citizens to use new technologies to better manage their health, care and treatment. And they need to feel confident in doing so.”

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20/11/2015 No Comments

Patient safety highlighted as a major concern at health providers across the UK

Doctors


A new report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – described as providing the fullest picture yet of the state of care across England – has highlighted many areas of concern.

The national ‘State of Care’ report has concluded that more than half of hospitals inspected require improvement – with 13 per cent considered ‘inadequate’ in terms of patient safety.

In all, the CQC found three-quarters of the 79 hospital trusts it inspected to have safety problems. More than 40 per cent of care and nursing homes and home care services and one in three GP services were also highlighted as having problems with safety.

As specialists in handling cases of medical negligence, much of our work at Hudgell Solicitors centres around investigating health providers who have failed simply in their duty of care. Avoidable errors are made, and these can have devastating, life-changing consequences for the patients involved.

These recent inspections, which were part of a new “tougher” regime headed by chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards, considered how well health and care providers are protecting patients from abuse and harm.

Figures showing that more than one in every 10 hospitals failed to meet the expected safety standards, and that 937 warning notices were handed out to care home demanding urgent improvements, highlight that vast improvements need to be made.

This report was compiled by considering five factors. Inspectors looked for safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led establishments.

Staffing levels have of course been highlighted as a reason for standards dipping, but it is interesting to note that the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said it is cuts made to senior nursing roles which is having the biggest impact, having a negative effect on training and leadership skills.

Indeed, the RCN says there are 5,000 more nurses now registered than there was in 2014, and 7,000 more than in 2010, so to simply say there is not enough staff on wards appears to be something of a red herring.

Leadership and direction is clearly lacking, however.

Throughout the findings in this report, there is a clear link between quality of leadership and quality of services. All inadequate services had inadequate leadership (84 per cent) and 94 per cent of services rated good or outstanding had good or outstanding for leadership.

This suggests the failings are not on the wards or in theatres, where we find thousands of dedicated, talented and caring medical professionals and staff across the country, but in the leadership and direction from the top.

There is a clear need to tighten and improve policies, procedures and standards across the UK, as only by doing so will we see consistently high-quality services delivered.

It is for that reason that we believe we continue to play a crucial role in our work at Hudgell Solicitors in holding health trusts to account over poor care.

We represent the patients, and as today’s report has highlighted, there is still much work to be done to provide us all with standard of care we deserve.

 

 

 

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15/10/2015 No Comments

Relatives must raise concerns over health and care services to hold providers to account

Kath Lavery Hudgell SolicitorsBy Kath Lavery, non-executive chairman of Hudgell Solicitors

There are three things which have to consistently happen to ensure the standard of health and care services across our region, and the UK, continually improve.

Firstly, we must always listen to people and ensure an independent voice is heard over health care standards.

Patients and their loved ones are the people who experience services first hand. They know where health and care providers succeed, and they also know where they fall short.

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12/10/2015 No Comments

Making quality of life as good as it can be is the key focus of World Cerebral Palsy Day

Rosamund Rhodes -Kemp


By Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, head of clinical negligence at Hudgell Solicitors, London

When reflecting upon the impact I’ve had as a medical negligence solicitor representing a family or client in a case, I never judge my own performance or success on the amount of compensation I have secured.

Yes, the figures can sometimes make for headlines in newspapers, particularly when such payments reach six, or perhaps seven figures, but the true test of any settlement is the difference it makes to a client’s quality of life.

“Nottingham family win multi-million pound High Court payout for brain-damaged son” read the headline in a local newspaper when Hudgell Solicitors supported the family of George Muir.

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07/10/2015 No Comments

Concern for 170 patients of Birmingham prostate surgeon after allegedly diagnosing cancer wrongly

Manu Nair inquiry


By Simon Wilson, senior solicitor at Hudgell Solicitors

It seems quite inconceivable that a patient could wrongly be told they have a form of cancer by an experienced surgeon, and then undergo surgery to remove it, when in fact they didn’t have cancer at all.

Being told you have cancer is a life-changing moment for patients and their loved ones. In the moment patients are told, their life changes for ever.

It is perhaps for that reason that many doctors often find themselves facing criticism for not diagnosing cancer early enough.

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02/10/2015 No Comments

Relatives should check for signs of pressure sores on loved ones following rise of hospital cases

Hospital beds


Senior nurses at two East Yorkshire hospitals have been warned that a rise in cases of bedsores amongst patients is ‘unacceptable’ – and it certainly is so.

Five patients were found to have developed bed sores in Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham over the past month, it has been revealed.

Two of the patients reportedly developed bedsores when on surgical wards, two whilst in medical wards and one in clinical support, during the month of August.

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01/10/2015 No Comments

Holding medical profession to account over negligent care can lead to improved services for all

Nurse helping lady


By Lauren Dale, Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Hudgell Solicitors

In our work as medical negligence specialist solicitors, we strive to achieve two clear goals in each and every case we handle.

Firstly, we seek justice and compensation for those we represent.

Our clients turn to us at difficult times, and hope Hudgell Solicitors can help them find the answers to their questions and concerns – answers they would most likely never get without our legal expertise and support.

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03/09/2015 No Comments

Proposals to cap medical negligence costs for NHS will only prevent patients from receiving support and compensation they deserve

Medical negligenceHudgell Solicitors will be strongly opposing Department of Health (DoH) proposals to place a cap on legal costs involved in clinical negligence claims against NHS organisations.

Importantly, we will do so to not to protect our own earnings in such cases, but crucially to ensure patients across the UK continue to have the option of seeking compensation when they have been victims of sub-standard medical care.

As specialists in handling such claims, we see the devastating, life-changing impact medical negligence can have. When people suffer from sub-standard treatment, they need someone on their side to ask serious questions of those who have let them down.

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07/08/2015 No Comments

Huge investment into improving cancer care must look to address problem of GPs failing to spot early symptoms

simonA recent study has suggested that a quarter of cancer patients in the UK made at least three visits to their GP before being sent to hospital for tests which correctly diagnosed their illness.

Some were said to have returned repeatedly over a six-month period, only to be sent away with painkillers, antibiotics or drugs for high blood pressure.

Carried out by academics at Cambridge University, this was a significant piece of medical research, as more than 70,000 patients who had completed the Government’s annual cancer experience survey in 2012 and 2013 were questioned.

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04/08/2015 No Comments

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Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90