Hospital Negligence Claims 1 in 10 Report Reveals

Posted on: March 4th, 2014 by Editor

Figures revealed by NHS Wales revealed that almost one-in-ten patient safety incidents result in a fatality or serious injury due to hospital medical negligence. The report showed that between April and September 2011 fifty-five avoidable deaths and sixty-eight incidents of “severe harm” to patients occurred in NHS Trusts in Wales.

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said: “It is accepted that some patients will die in hospitals, but it is unacceptable that patients die due to hospital error.” She called for an investigation into the high level of avoidable injury after learning that 41 deaths had been reported by the Aneurin Bevan Health Board in the six month period.

Other Health Boards which reported significant high numbers of patient fatality attributable to hospital medical negligence included Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board where more than 40 patients have known to have died due to “patient safety incidents” in the past eighteen months, and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board and Hywel Dda Health Board which each recorded 30 avoidable deaths during the same period.

A total of 26,749 patient safety incidents were recorded in Wales between April and September, but doubts were cast on the integrity of the figures by Powys Local Health Board reporting just one patient safety incident following 264 in the previous accounting period.

A spokesman on behalf of NHS Wales commented on the figures by saying “Every year, thousands of patients receive high quality, safe and effective treatment, but in a modern health system – where increasingly complicated procedures are being undertaken – sadly, mistakes can, and will, still happen. When this happens, the NHS must investigate and take action, where appropriate, and provide assurances and feedback to patients”.

However, Ms Williams was impressed. “If the Health Boards can learn from their mistakes”, she said “they can reduce the number of people who die needlessly in our NHS”.

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