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The NHS’s multimillion-pound blunders laid bare in new report

The reasons behind the most catastrophic blunders in emergency departments have been laid bare in a NHS Resolution report highlighting some of the biggest pay outs for NHS A&E errors.

NHS Resolution conducted a deep dive into compensation claims concerning emergency departments in England, including 16 cases which saw more than £1 million handed out after life-changing or deadly errors.

The average “high-value claim” was £2,069,029, with many of them related to spinal cord injuries which, left undetected, can have a life-long impact on patients.

The report detailed the case of a woman who suffered permanent neurological damage and now has bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction symptoms, as well as loss of mobility, after a spinal condition was misdiagnosed as sciatica.

The report also looked at 86 deaths which resulted in average pay outs of more than £45,000.

After reviewing 220 claims between 2014 and 2018, the authors highlighted a number of “common themes”, including:

  • diagnostic errors, including missing signs a patient was deteriorating
  • a failure to recognise the significance of repeat attendance at A&E
  • delays in care
  • problems with communication, including problems with different hospital departments talking to each other.

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Source: In Your Area News, 29 March 2022


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