In the last two years, private healthcare providers have been awarded 70 percent of the contracts offered by the National Health Service. Along with this gradual privatisation of the NHS, serious concerns have been raised regarding patient safety.
If an alert has been placed in your medical file to let doctors know that you should not be prescribed certain medications, then you should be able to expect that doctors will heed the alert to protect your health. A doctor in Runcorn has admitted that he ignored such an alert, and the consequences were devastating.
The annual British Medical Association conference recently heard that increasing workloads are causing doctor and patient relationships to be strained. Further, the safety of patients is ultimately at risk as doctors' stress levels and incidence of burnout are exponentially rising in tandem with the increased workloads. The conference was told that the difficulties inherent in administering these workloads are compelling some doctors to leave for foreign jobs, choose early retirement or fear the possibility of unintentional clinical negligence as stress and burnout become more likely.
A surgeon gave testimony that a 41-year-old woman may have survived had she been admitted to the Royal London Hospital sooner. According to a post-mortem, the Time Magazine associate editor died of multiple organ failure due to blood poisoning that was caused by an injection for haemorrhoids. Although the strain of bacteria could have been easily treated with antibiotics, the mother-of-one had consulted seven doctors who all made a fatal failure to diagnose before an eighth doctor had her referred to a hospital. Her husband, a journalist, has stated that her death was a direct result of the 'widening cracks" in the NHS; specifically, the disastrous transferal of out-of-hours care from GPs to out-of-hours clinics.