Before they can treat patients, physicians must go through extensive schooling, qualifying exams and licensure requirements. In order to be trusted with a patient's health and care, physicians must show that they know what they are doing. Unfortunately, after all of that, there are still some physicians who will make grave mistakes while caring for patients. These physicians are often accused of clinical negligence, but it takes more than an accusation to receive compensation for things like loss of future earnings, rehabilitative care or potential future medical costs.
It is devastating for parents to lose a child, especially when his or her death was preventable. As it is, it can be quite nerve-wracking to be a parent, not knowing when an illness is so serious as to go to hospital. But when a Manchester family brought their 11-month-old son to hospital with a fever and whilst he struggled to remain conscious, it was quite clear that they were not overreacting. The hospital should have run tests on the boy, yet they sent him home with Paracetamol.
Should someone in Miada Vale need an organ donation, he or she expects to receive a healthy organ. There are extensive screening processes to protect patients from the transfer of disease, but should a medical professional fail to follow those procedures, it is not inconceivable for an organ recipient to fall ill. With the severity of some of these medical conditions, a recipient may need long-term care before he or she can recover. In some of the worst situations, recovery is impossible.
It is never a patient's responsibility to ensure that physicians and nurses are doing their jobs, to monitor his or her own condition while in hospital, or to recommend treatment options. Most patients do not have sufficient medical knowledge to do the aforementioned, which makes it all the more unfortunate when medical personnel fail patients; many patients do not realise something is wrong until it is too late.
The NHS has a list of mistakes that should never happen. These so named "never events" are mistakes of such gravity and speak to such negligence that they are never permissible. Whilst the NHS has taken a strong stand on these events, they still happen. The recent death of an Hackney pensioner at Homerton University Hospital was the result of just such a "never event" and now there will be an inquest as to what happened.
For the past 15 years, a surgeon with Solihull Hospital and Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, has been performing unregulated and incomplete mastectomies. A mastectomy, or removal of one or both breasts, is often a vital part of cancer treatment. For the women going through the procedure, there are often extreme emotions but, in the end, the desire to live cancer-free is an important motivator in getting the procedure. To learn that a surgeon was performing a procedure that was not only unregulated, but also potentially put individuals at risk for their cancer redeveloping must have been shocking, to say the least.
There are certain protections that Londoners can rely upon if they are injured by a physician or medical professional. They can file clinical negligence lawsuits and consult professional negligence solicitors on how best to cover the extreme costs of a serious medical error. In the near future, however, there may be another option: sending a wilfully negligent doctor or nurse to jail.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron questioned whether the European working time directive was appropriate for the United Kingdom. For those unfamiliar with the working time directive, it has been an important tool in keeping doctors awake and capable of doing their work competently. Although part of British law since 1998, the law did not cover NHS doctors until 2004.
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 27-year-old woman has been awarded compensation from Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust after drugs prescribed by Peterborough City Hospital for a skin condition caused foetal abnormalities. The Cambridgeshire resident, unaware at the time of the prescription that she was pregnant, was given medication for her acne after a hospital-administered test yielded a negative result. She was later found to be pregnant, and the drugs had by then caused fatal damage to her unborn child.