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NHS ‘Must Take Notice Of Patient Safety Figures’

Expert Reveals Concerns Over NPSA Findings


Medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell have described new figures which show a rise in the number of patient safety incidents in the NHS as “unacceptable”.

According to findings compiled by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), the number of incidents involving patients increased by four per cent between April 1st and September 30th 2010 to reach 547,879.

Of those incidents, around 38,000 were found to have caused some level of harm or led to the death of the patients involved, with serious medical issues including medication errors and treatment problems among those recorded.

Irwin Mitchell regularly provides advice and support to families who have been affected by medical negligence and treatment errors, including the loved ones of those who have tragically died due to serious mistakes.

Lisa Jordan, a medical law and patients’ rights specialist at leading national law firm, said: “While it is important to maintain perspective as so many people receive excellent care, this rise in the number of incidents is clearly unacceptable and the NHS simply has to improve levels of patient safety as soon as possible.

“Over 4,000 of these incidents led to severe harm or death and the fact that so many people are affected by such problems is horrific. For the sake of victims and their loved ones, lessons have to be learnt to ensure no one else suffers from the same, often avoidable, errors in the future.

“So many of the cases we deal with see us advise families who are keen to rebuild their lives after mistakes in medical treatment and we have repeatedly called for improvements in care.

“It is time that the NHS sits up and takes notice of our calls and this NPSA research – no more lives should be affected by issues that can often be easily resolved.”