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Medical Negligence ’is rife’ in NHS Care of the Elderly


Elderly patients of the NHS regularly find themselves victims of medical negligence, a new report has revealed.

According to a number of investigations carried out by the Health Service Ombudsman, ten patients suffered unnecessary pain, humiliation and distress while in hospital.

One man who had advanced stomach cancer and iterated his desire to die at home was found by his daughter after having been left on his own for hours. He was in pain and desperate to go to the toilet, but was unable to ask for assistance as he was so dehydrated he couldn’t speak.

Furthermore, a woman who was taken to hospital after a trip suffered further falls while in the care of the NHS. She broke her collarbone but her only relative was not told. She was then taken to care home and, on arrival, was said to be soaked in urine and dressed in someone else’s clothes that were only held together by paper clips.

The Ombudsman commented: “The reasonable expectation that an older person or their family may have of dignified, pain-free, end of life care, in clean surroundings in hospital is not being fulfilled. Instead, these accounts present a picture of NHS provision that is failing to meet even the most basic standards of care.”

It went on to describe some of the accounts outlined in the report as “harrowing”.

Commenting on the findings of the investigations, Richard Money-Kyrle, medical negligence expert at Darbys Solicitors LLP, said: "The NHS is a health service that is admired around the world, as it gives millions access to free care. However, these shocking reports would suggest patients are continually being let down by the institution.

“Unfortunately we already know medical negligence is prevalent among health professionals, but what is particularly disappointing is that it’s the elderly - often the most vulnerable patients in the care of the NHS - who are the victims.”

Darbys Solicitors LLP is a leading law firm with solicitors who are leaders in their field. For further information about medical negligence compensation claims, visit the company’s dedicated website:


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