"Put Patients First" Call In Response To Keogh Review Final Report

Keogh Review Final Report Published

16.07.2013

By Dave Grimshaw

Irwin Mitchell represents around 500 patients affected by treatment at all 14 trusts investigated by the Keogh Review.

The law firm was invited to submit evidence to the Review in the form of details of concluded negligence cases so that the Review could learn from them.

Lisa Jordan, head of the medical law and patients’ rights team at Irwin Mitchell, comments on the final report by Sir Bruce Keogh: “Amidst all the political positioning – it is important to remember that the point of the Keogh Review is to inspect and report on what improvements can be made to care in these hospitals to prevent others from suffering from basic errors in their treatment.

“Patients and families who instruct us to investigate their cases are always asking us how they can stop what happened to them affecting others in future. They want to see the poor standards they have experienced turned into good practice and see that maintained long term.

“It is worth also remembering that this is not just about death rates but also the many others who suffer permanent serious injuries because of mistakes by NHS staff.

“The Keogh Review needs to be a template for examining performance to be used by the Chief Inspector of Hospitals and the Care Quality Commission. It is important that patient safety is at the heart of all improvements and changes made in the NHS to reassure the public and restore patients’ confidence in making difficult health choices which could affect their lives forever.”

Case Study

Arend Von Weilligh was just 16-years-old when he was admitted to Basildon hospital on 15 October 2008 with suspected appendicitis having been referred by his GP earlier that day.

But he was not fully diagnosed for two days and although he was supposed to undergo an emergency operation, this did not take place until 10am the next day.

He was discharged home on 20 October but remained in significant pain and unwell and was rushed back to hospital five days later by ambulance.

Further delays in his treatment meant it was another three days before scans confirmed there was a serious infection and Arend underwent major abdominal surgery for the second time to drain the wound of pus and fluid before he was transferred to the intensive care unit.

After more treatment to the infected wound he was again discharged on 13 November and has been left with large scars from the two operations.

Arend had lost almost 10kg in weight between 15 October and 12 November and his father Eric took legal action against the NHS Trust in order to raise his concerns and seek answers about his son’s treatment.

Irwin Mitchell took legal action against the trust on the family’s behalf alleging a delay in the diagnosis of appendicitis, that they discharged him too early in October and that there was a delay in performing scans which discovered the abscess. If these failures hadn’t occurred it is believed he would have made a full recovery originally and would not have required a second major operation and further treatment.

Eric Von Wielligh, from Warley, Brentwood, Essex said: “Arend spent much longer in hospital than he should have done and it was very scary seeing the amount of pain he was in. He lost a lot of weight, suffered from significant scarring and ended up missing weeks of school. We were also concerned about the information and advice given to us when he was discharged and we were not really told how to help get his weight back up.

“My son’s treatment at the hospital was poor and although there are obviously many patients who receive a fantastic service from the NHS, I hope the Keogh Review identifies the areas which can be improved so that others don’t have to go through a similar ordeal to our family.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Medical Negligence claims.