The National Health Service is the world’s largest publicly funded health service in the world, but the NHS now sees medical negligence claims rise, because infection after the treatment by doctors and nurses is at an all time high.
Statistics by the National Institution for Health and Care Excellence, has estimated that one in 16 people treated in the NHS are picking up an infection. This amounts to a total of 300,000 people every year, a number that can certainly be avoided with accredited health standards that are to be expected.
Illnesses can include anything from pneumonia to urine infections, and is becoming a hindrance on the recovery of patients in terms of cost in addition to well-being. Speculation from authorities like deputy chief executive and director of health and social care, Prof Leng, are appalled at the current infection rates. They have stated it is completely “unacceptable” for this to be happening, especially as patients put their entire trust in the medical professionals involved the process of treatment.
Medical negligence claims are increasing; particularly when it comes to claims about the National Health Service, which have risen by 20 percent in the last year and by 80 percent since 2008 – a phenomenally steep increase. The payout for compensation due to negligence by the NHS has nearly amounted to £19 billion.
Many patients have stated that they felt obliged to claim when the hospital responsible for their care refused an apology or an explanation as to where they went wrong during treatment, which is why the NHS sees medical negligence claims rise. Healthcare workers have been informed that they must ensure hygiene by always cleaning their hands thoroughly, and using catheters or vascular access devices safely – both things of which the public body would already expect in professional healthcare environments?
Carol Pellowe, a committee member of the NHS standards stated that they will be honing in on specific areas that need to be targeted in order to improve hygiene and correct conduct and ultimately decrease infection.
Inefficient healthcare has become a major problem. People are becoming less inclined to yield to a failure in care, especially when it comes to professional treatment like that of NHS doctors and nurses. However, reports have shown that most people only take legal action when every other option had failed.
In order to decrease costs, it is imperative that the National Health Service locate problematic areas in order to put a stop to the repetition of mistakes and eradicate them completely, and by admitting to the errors they have made. Patient well-being needs to be made a priority to improve safety, especially as reports suggest that the public no longer see claiming medical negligence against hospitals as a restricted and hazardous zone.
As the NHS sees medical negligence claims rise and infection rates soar, swift action needs to be taken for reformation. A lack of care is not something to be expected in esteemed environments, and is not something to be tolerated.
Op-ed by Melissa McDonald