The top cause of clinical negligence claims against the NHS is mistakes in the accident and emergency departments. In particular delays, misdiagnosis and poor treatment have become more common than in the past, overtaking orthopaedic claims. In 2017/2018 NHSR, the litigation claim handlers for the NHS, reported a 7% rise on the previous year. Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patient’s Association said ‘This reflects the crisis conditions that patients are now suffering in A&E all year round, not just in winter. These arise directly from the long-term under funding of the NHS and failures in workforce planning.’
Graystons Solicitors recognises this problem. Sadly the rise in negligence claims is very worrying as patients are suffering unnecessary harm which can have life changing consequences. Often the claims can relate to vulnerable patients as opportunities to treat the patients are missed. We welcome a review of the problem of A&E claims announced by the NHSR as we believe the safety of patients should be paramount.