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Clinical negligence on the rise as hospitals buckle under pressure

Lanyon Bowdler solicitors react to reports which suggest the NHS is struggling to cope with the high level of hospital intake and leading to an increase in medical negligence cases.


Staff within hospitals have reportedly admitted the NHS is bursting at the seams and is struggling to cope with current high levels of demand.

The NHS have recognised that once patient occupancy exceeds 85 per cent in hospitals, it is more difficult to provide good quality care, minimise the risk of infection and avoid mistakes generally. This was raised in the Dr Foster research report which showed that occupancy has been running at 88 per cent mid-week and averaged 90 per cent for 11 out of the 12 months.

The statistics from the report suggest that hospitals are busier now more than ever and that the service is under increasing pressure. It is not surprising that the level of avoidable medical accidents remains unacceptably high, and even before hospital occupancy levels reached the 85 per cent maximum, the NHS’s own research suggests that 1 in 10 patients suffered avoidable accidents.

The current healthcare system is in need of a serious review in the quality of care, efficiency and level of staffing. The Government’s response to the health service in crisis has been to seek ‘efficiency savings’. Rises in medical errors this year, as a result of poor care and negligence on behalf of hospital staff, have also increased the costs to the healthcare service.

According to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), clinical negligence claims are still rising and it reported numerous hospitals were failing to manage medicines safely, whilst a significant number of hospitals were criticised in providing undignified care for older patients.

Lanyon Bowdler solicitors, who specialise in handling clinical and medical negligence claims, have noticed a strong increase in the number of clients wishing to pursue a legal action and have shown concern for the strain on hospital trusts. Speaking on behalf of the practice Kay Kelly, partner and head of the medical negligence team stated, “Recent publications’, illustrating the majority of hospitals already under strain due to high levels of occupancy, certainly paints a worrying picture, especially as we enter one of the busiest times of the year for hospital intake.

“On the surface the NHS does appear to have a robust system in place, however with the recent reports highlighting the rise in negligence and lack of care in our hospitals, closer examination betrays serious underlying weaknesses.”

Lanyon Bowdler offer advice on a wide range of legal services and specialise in providing advice on medical negligence claims. For more information visit or call 0800 954 9936.


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