01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams

Tag Archive: patient records

Scandal around ‘secret’ of lost patient records could cost lives and those responsible must be held to account

Filing records


It is nothing short of a scandal that thousands of patients may have suffered harm as a result of more than 700,000 documents – including details such as cancer test results and child protection issues – failed to reach GPs and were left in a warehouse over a five year period.

Even more shocking is the fact that the company responsible for delivering the documents – part owned by the Department of Health – allegedly became aware of the issue in January 2014, but took two years to come clean and inform the Government and NHS England.

It has been called a ‘colossal blunder’ by politicians and a ‘disastrous situation’ by the British Medical Association.

Quite simply, it appears an astonishing case of negligence, worsened by an apparent lack of care and consideration for those put at risk by not informing key people of concerns earlier.

By keeping matter ‘secret’ the significant risk to patients was ignored

In our work as medical negligence claims specialists, our team see day to day the need for speedy diagnosis of serious conditions such as cancer. Early detection is vital and impacts the level of treatment patients may have to undergo.

The National Audit Office (NAO), which has investigated this matter, says the company involved, NHS Shared Business Services (SBS), had become aware of a risk to patients in January 2014.

However, senior managers had not developed a plan to deal with it or tell the government or NHS England for another two years, and only told NHS England and the Department of Health of the issue in March 2016.

Even then, neither Parliament nor the public – the people put at risk by these potentially grave errors – were told. The issue only came publicly to light in February after the Guardian newspaper reported it.

It has been suggested there was a ‘conflict of interest’ between the health secretary’s responsibility for the health service as a whole and his department’s position as a shareholder in NHS SBS.

However, a Department of Health spokeswoman said it was committed to being transparent over the handling of the issue, saying it was given advice not to raise the alarm publicly until it had a better understanding of the problem.

It claimed concerns about patient safety ‘would always outweigh its role as a shareholder in the company’, and that as yet there had still been no proof of harm to patients.

However, given doctors have already raised concerns in 1,788 cases, which are now being individually investigated and overseen by NHS England, that approach already looks a serious error of judgment.

NHS England also said the company had been “obstructive and unhelpful” when it had tried to investigate the issue.

It is a shocking, inexcusable, and unforgiveable situation.

How many have suffered as a result of lost medical records?

The question now is how many people have suffered due to this error?

There are still over 200,000 records which went missing to be reviewed by GPs, and therefore it is highly likely that many more cases in which there is genuine concern will be uncovered.

NHS SBS was employed in the East Midlands, South West and north-west London to redirect mail for the health service between 2011 and 2016.

It was meant to pass on documents that had either been incorrectly addressed or needed re-routing because the patient had moved to a new GP surgery.

People diagnosed with conditions in recent years could now discover it should have been treated much earlier. Even worse, some may never have known their health was a concern at all.

The report by the NAO found the cost of dealing with this incident was likely to be in the region of at least £6.6m.

The human cost, sadly, could prove to be much more, and for that, those found responsible must be held to account.

Read More

27/06/2017 No Comments

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great customer service

"Great customer service Tasmin was very helpful Updated me on a regular basis Thanks for… "

Mr D Scannell

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Caroline was great in handling my case

"Caroline was great in handling my case, very informative and always kept me up to… "

Mr Richard Brook

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Dispute with EasyJet

"Although Hudgell offices were not local to us, there was no need for concern, as… "

Glyn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always on the ball

"Always on the ball! Great at what they do, very professional and fast with a… "

CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Very happy with result. Thank you."

Miss Erika Panakova

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Was an easy process and the caseworker…

"Was an easy process and the caseworker was very informative and very knowledgeable on my… "

Rachel Fee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Lovely business to deal with

"Lovely business to deal with. Would recommend to anyone."

Mrs Kelly Byrnes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great communication

"Great communication! My solicitor was lovely to deal with, open and listened to me."

Sue Ockendon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy with how they managed my…

"Very happy with how they managed my claim. I would recommend them."

Mr Steve Roberts

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful and truly understanding in…

"Very helpful and truly understanding in a very sensitive case would highly recommend to anyone"

Miss Sarah Morris

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly

"Friendly, supportive and professional, couldn't ask for more."

Mr Adrian Fisher

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

A first class service with a heart too

"I never had claimed before and was quite apprehensive about dealing with claims solicitors as… "

M Sheikh

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on…

"They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on my own after my experience. They… "

Mrs Melinda Diane Tovey

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

The service was excellent and Lauren…

"The service was excellent and Lauren Cartwright kept me well informed and gave good advice… "

Mr Roger Harrison

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Recommended company

"Excellent service, fully recommended. Efficient communication and reliable."

Mr R Taylor

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell took over my road traffic case…

"Hudgell took over my road traffic case from a different solicitors and successfully negotiated a… "

Mr JSW

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell Solicitors made my personal…

"Hudgell Solicitors made my personal injury claim so easy, they got me the treatment i… "

Mr Nick Todd

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I have never used solicitors before

"I have never used solicitors before, my dealings with Hudgell have been excellent I have… "

David Varley

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful

"Very helpful"

Ethan Ferguson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

First Class service

"Hudgell Solicitors are currently working on my case and I must say so far the… "

Emma Jeeves

Rated 9.4 out of 10 based on 455 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

Manchester

1 St Peter’s Square
Third Floor
Manchester
M2 3AE

 

VIEW DETAILS

© 2018 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

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