Sheffield Lawyer Warns Over Rise In NHS Deaths

Hospital fatalities

06.01.2009

A Sheffield based medical law expert has warned that the NHS must learn lessons after it was revealed that deaths from NHS errors in UK hospitals are rising.

Hospitals reported 3,645 deaths in 2007-8 from patient safety incidents including those relating to problems with scans and tests and hospital infections.

David Body, head of medical law and patients rights at law firm Irwin Mitchell's Sheffield office said: "The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) data reported today has revealed that there were more than 3,600 deaths in hospitals in 2007-8 from patient safety incidents. These figures are extremely troubling, even if the reported 60% increase is partly because of better reporting.

"The overall number shows a real need for lessons to be learned. The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) contains an enormous wealth of claims information and details of individual cases but the question is: what is being done to transmit the risk assessment lessons that clinical litigation generates into safer patient care."