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South-West Hospital Error Figures ‘Must Lead To Action’

BBC Obtains Serious Incident Figures


A medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell has demanded that health authorities in the south-west act immediately following new figures which highlight the number of hospital errors in the area.

Figures from Strategic Health Authorities, which were acquired by the BBC, have revealed that hospitals across Devon and Cornwall recorded a number of serious untoward incidents between January 2009 and October 2010.

One of the most significant findings was that Plymouth Hospitals Trust reported 109 incidents, which are generally defined as problems with a range of treatments, as well as general issues with overall services and information breaches.

Kate Easy, a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office who specialises in clinical negligence claims, said: “The research obtained by the BBC raises concerns with the quality of the health services being offered to patients across the south-west. This information should be carefully reviewed by the Trust, the Strategic Health Authority and the regulators with a view to finding areas for improvement.

“Through our work representing people who have suffered as a result of errors made during their treatment at hospitals, we have seen first-hand the devastating impact that such problems can have.

“Patient safety needs to be a paramount concern and it is vital action is taken in order to cut avoidable errors, which in turn should lead to a major improvement in the services that the public have access to.

“It is often the case that very simple changes in practice can have far reaching effects. The NHS needs to learn lessons from these reports, for the sake of those previously affected and to stop more people suffering problems in the future.”