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Found 267 results
  1. Content Article
    When public areas such as train stations breach their capacity, emergency protocols are rolled out and stations are closed. Yet when hospitals become overcrowded, there isn’t the option to stop urgent and emergency care. Instead, staff have to develop workarounds, delivering care in areas not designed – nor safe or effective – for clinical use, a phenomenon commonly known as ‘corridor care’. The increasing frequency of corridor care is alarming – both for patient safety and staff morale, and because it risks normalising substandard care delivery.  Corridor care largely occurs when emergency departments are inundated with patients. 45,000 people visit major hospital A&E departments in England each day, 16% more than 10 years ago. Many of these patients require hospital admission or further care. Limited beds within hospitals, stretched community services and chronically low social care capacity mean that A&E often becomes a bottleneck, with patients unable to ‘flow’ out of the department because there are no free beds elsewhere in the hospital. In this blog, Heather Wilson a Programme and Policy Officer in the Healthy Lives team at the Health Foundation, as well as a registered nurse who continues to work in a central London emergency department discusses the impact of corridor care on staff, patients and families. Further reading on the hub: A silent safety scandal: A nurse’s first-hand account of a corridor nursing shift
  2. Content Article
    Corridor nursing is increasingly being used in the NHS as demand for emergency care grows and A&E departments struggle with patient numbers. In this anonymous account, a nurse shares their experience of corridor nursing, highlighting that corridor settings lack essential infrastructure and pose many safety risks for patients. They also outline the practical difficulties providing corridor care causes for staff, as well as the potential for moral injury.  Using the System Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) framework, they describe the work system, the processes and how that influences the outcomes.
  3. News Article
    Disrepair in NHS buildings led to thousands of potentially-harmful incidents last year including critically ill patients being moved when rainfall came through the ceiling. Sewage leaks, floods and failing equipment also featured in incident records obtained by the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act. Health chiefs called on the government to nearly double its capital spending. The government said "significant sums" had been invested to modernise the NHS. Heath Secretary Victoria Atkins said the government accepted that some hospital buildings "are not as we would wish them to be" but added that it was for NHS chief executives to decide how to spend the money. According to NHS data, the care of more than 2,600 acute hospital patients was disrupted last year by estates and infrastructure failure. The NHS Confederation, which represents trusts, has published a report setting out what health care leaders want the next government to prioritise. It has called on the government to increase capital spending on the health service from £7.7bn to £14.1bn. Matthew Taylor, its chief executive, said: "Put simply, a lack of capital funding can leave patients at risk." Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 February 2024
  4. News Article
    Michelle Nolan takes morphine daily for the pain she has lived with for 14 years after botched surgery at the hands of a once renowned surgeon. She suffered irreversible nerve damage in July 2010 when John Bradley Williamson, a former president of the British Scoliosis Society, inserted a screw that was too long into her spine at Spire Manchester Hospital. The 49-year-old from Chadderton, near Oldham, needs crutches and lost her job as a legal secretary and later her house and marriage. “I lost everything because of him,” she said. “I thought I was the only one he had harmed.” She was not. Families and patients operated on by Williamson over two decades at the Salford Royal Hospital, Spire Manchester Hospital and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, have formed a support group and want a full recall of all of his patients. They fear some could be suffering without realising they are victims of poor care. Williamson told the coroner investigating Catherine’s death that her surgery “progressed uneventfully” and “the blood loss was perhaps a little higher than one would usually anticipate but was certainly not extreme”. Yet days after her death, Williamson sent an internal letter to the hospital’s haematology department head Simon Jowitt describing the surgery as “difficult” and involving “a catastrophic haemorrhage”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 18 February 2024
  5. News Article
    A woman said she has been unable to get her ADHD medication for months. Hannah Huxford, 49, from Grimsby is one of thousands of patients unable to get hold of medicine to manage their symptoms due to a national shortage. Mrs Huxford, who was diagnosed with the condition two years ago, described the situation as a "huge worry". The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it had taken action to improve the supply of medicines but added that "some challenges remain". Mrs Huxford said the medicine made a "huge difference" and got her life back on track. "It enables me to function and concentrate so I can be more proactive, I can be more productive," she explained. She said she had been unable to get her usual supply since October 2023 and has to ration what she can get hold of. "Christmas time it was just getting beyond a joke. I was going back to the pharmacy, probably two or three times in a month, just to collect the little IOUs and it was getting to the point where that, in itself, was becoming a stress," she said. "All of a sudden, if this medication is taken away from me, I'm frightened that I will go back to not being able to cope." James Davies, from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said the supply shortage has been caused by manufacturing problems and an increase in demand. "There are more people who are being diagnosed with ADHD, more people seeking to access ADHD treatments. That's not just related to the UK, this is a global problem," he said. Mr Davies said some ADHD medication has come back into stock but added "it's quite a fluid situation at the moment". Read full story Source: BBC News, 19 February 2024 Have you (or a loved one) ever been prescribed medication that you were then unable to get hold of at the pharmacy? To help us understand how these issues impact the lives of patients and families, please share your experience and insights in our community thread on the topic: You'll need to register with the hub first, its free and easy to do. We would also like to hear from pharmacists working in community or hospital settings, and others who have insights to share on this issue. What barriers and challenges have you seen around medication availability? Is there anything that can be done to improve wider systems or processes?
  6. News Article
    A woman who described the time in her life after a pelvic mesh implant as "soul destroying" said proposed government compensation was "disappointingly low". Claire Cooper, from Uckfield, is one of around 100,000 women across the UK who had transvaginal mesh implants. England's patient safety commissioner suggested compensation could start at around £20,000. Ms Cooper, 49, was originally given the mesh implant as a treatment for incontinence after childbirth. However, after struggling with pain following the operation, Ms Cooper claimed doctors treated her as if she were "psychotic" and "a nuisance". She said her experience was one of being "mocked". "It was just soul destroying," Ms Cooper told BBC Radio Sussex. "I lost my fight because I was met at every turn with resistance so I just lost the ability to advocate for myself." Ms Cooper eventually had surgery to remove the mesh, which she said one doctor compared to "cheese cutting wire". She is still living with chronic pain. Read full story Source: BBC News, 15 February 2024 Further reading on the hub: Doctors shocking comments to women harmed by mesh
  7. News Article
    ‘This is a very painful thing to admit,” says Emily Roberts, a 47-year-old teacher from south London, “but my entire adult life has been shaped by trying to survive what has been done to me.” Roberts (not her real name) is one of hundreds of British people who believe that they have been unintentionally maimed by orthodontists — dentists who specialise in irregular teeth and jaws. Along with thousands of others around the world, they share their experiences and post photographs and x-rays on Facebook groups. They say that lifelong damage was done to them as children — not by shady backstreet operators but by regular high street practitioners. Many say that as a result their adult lives have been blighted by painful and debilitating symptoms. “I’ve spent my entire adult life working on my body to try to get my posture right or get out of pain,” Roberts says. She has seen neurologists, osteopaths, pain-management specialists. Nothing has worked. She considered taking legal action against the orthodontist who initially treated her — for seven years in total — but the UK’s statute of limitations states that claims for dental negligence must be made within three years of the treatment and the time limit elapsed while she was still considering her options. Lauren Packham, 36, was 12 years old when she had four premolar teeth removed to correct an overbite that she says “wasn’t even that bad”. She then wore fixed braces and elastics to retract her teeth. In her twenties she had three wisdom teeth removed after they became painful. “If I knew what I know now, I wouldn’t have had them out,” she says. In the past few years Packham, who lives in Plymouth, has suffered worsening jaw pain and migraines. She has also experienced sleep problems since her late teens. “If I sleep on my back, my breathing just cuts off. I’ve since had a diagnosis of sleep-disordered breathing.” A Harley Street sleep specialist doctor she saw privately pointed to her orthodontic treatment as the likely cause of her health issues. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 11 February 2024 Further reading on the hub: “I’ve been mocked, scolded and gaslighted”: a harmed patient’s experience of orthodontic treatment A patient harmed by orthodontic treatment shares their story Share your experience of orthodontist and dentistry services
  8. News Article
    The number of patients waiting more than 12 hours in A&E hit a record in January of almost 180,000 people. Worsening pressures on A&E come as prime minister Rishi Sunak has officially missed his pledge, made in January last year, to cut the NHS waiting list. NHS England began publishing previously-hidden data on patients waiting 12 hours or more last year, after reports by The Independent. The latest figures for January show 178,000 people were waiting this long to be seen, treated or discharged after arriving from A&E – a record since February 2023 when the data was first published. In that month, 128,580 people waited more than 12 hours, and in December there were 156,000. The number waiting at least four hours from the decision to admit to actual admission has also risen, from 148,282 in December to 158,721 last month – the second-highest figure on record. Dr Tim Cooksley, past president of the Society for Acute Medicine, warned: “Degrading corridor care and prolonged waits causing significant harm is tragically and increasingly the expected state in urgent and emergency care.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 8 February 2024
  9. News Article
    Diabetes patients have told the BBC they are struggling without what they have called a "wonder drug". Experts estimate about 400,000 people with Type 2 diabetes could have been affected by a national supply shortage caused by rising demand. The new generation of medicines - GLP-1 receptor agonists - mimic a hormone that not only controls blood sugar levels but also suppresses appetite. The government said it was trying to help resolve the supply chain issues. NHS England has issued a National Patient Safety Alert for the drugs. The NHS alerts require action to be taken by healthcare providers to reduce the risk of death or disability. The diabetes medicines in short supply are Ozempic, Trulicity, Victoza, Byetta, and Bydureon. They work via injections instead of tablets. The group of medicines has been used by the NHS for diabetes for around a decade but in recent years there has been a growth in private clinics prescribing the same drugs for weight loss for people who do not have diabetes, pushing up demand. Novo Nordisk, which manufactures Ozempic and Victoza, told the BBC it was experiencing shortages of its medicines for people in the UK with Type 2 diabetes due to "unprecedented levels of demand". Read full story Source: BBC News, 26 January 2024 Have you (or a loved one) ever been prescribed medication that you were then unable to get hold of at the pharmacy or in hospital? To help us understand how these issues impact the lives of patients and families, please share your experience and insights in our hub community thread on the topic here or drop a comment below. You'll need to register with the hub first, its free and easy to do.
  10. Community Post
    *Trigger warning. This post includes personal gynaecological experiences of a traumatic nature. What is your experience of having a hysteroscopy? We would like to hear - good or bad so that we can help campaign for safer, harm free care. You can read Patient Safety Learning's blog about improving hysteroscopy safety here. You'll need to be a hub member to comment below, it's quick and easy to do. You can sign up here.
  11. Content Article
    Medicine shortages in the UK have been a regular feature on newspaper front pages in recent years. As a doctor on the frontline, Ammad Butt sees how this instability in our medicine supply chain is playing out on the ground. Ammad works in a large city hospital and is used to meeting disgruntled patients who have had to wait hours in clinic to receive treatment. But just imagine their concern when he has to explain to them that the medication they usually took to treat them with is not available, and that they will have to take an alternative instead or stay in hospital for even longer as a result. In the past year, Ammad has routinely seen patients having to go without medication for common conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), diabetes and even acne that would otherwise be easily managed, or being forced to take alternatives that are less appropriate. And new EU plans for its members to work together to stockpile key medicines will only worsen shortages in the UK. Patients tell Ammad they feel others are receiving better treatment than they are. And they are right, in some ways. Healthcare professionals are being put in a difficult situation having to explain why they are making compromises in their care. It all adds to the sense among patients and healthcare professionals alike that the health service is not working for the most vulnerable. Have you (or a loved one) ever been prescribed medication that you were then unable to get hold of at the pharmacy?  Have you (or a loved one) ever been prescribed medication that you were then unable to get hold of at the pharmacy or in hospital? To help us understand how these issues impact the lives of patients and families, please share your experience and insights in our hub community thread on the topic here or drop a comment below. You'll need to register with the hub first, its free and easy to do. 
  12. News Article
    People with buildups of ear wax are being left with hearing loss and socially isolated because of an NHS “postcode lottery” in removing it, a new report claims. Ear wax removal services have declined so dramatically that 9.8 million people in England now cannot access help on the NHS, forcing some to pay a “tax on wax” for private treatment. The report, from the RNID hearing loss charity, also found that more than half of NHS commissioners are breaching official guidelines by not ensuring that all adults can access care. The RNID, formerly the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, said its “horrifying” findings highlighted the misery people who cannot get wax removed are suffering. “Ear wax buildup can cause painful and distressing symptoms – such as hearing loss, tinnitus and earache – and lead to social isolation and poor mental health,” the RNID said. “With a patchy service across England, many people are left living in silence or forced to pay for private removal,” it added. Non-NHS providers charge £50-£100 a visit to suction wax out. Older people and those who wear hearing aids are most likely to experience buildups. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 24 January 2024
  13. News Article
    A national shortage of epilepsy medication is putting patients' safety at risk, consultants have said. Medical professionals are becoming genuinely concerned as ever more frequent supply issues continue to bite tens of thousands of sufferers. According to the Epilepsy Society charity, over 600,000 people in the UK have the condition, or about one in every 100 people. Among them is Charlotte Kelly, a mother of two living in London who has had epilepsy for over 20 years. She must take two tablets a day to manage her condition but issues with supply have forced her to start rationing her medication. Speaking to Sky News, Ms Kelly told us of the fear surrounding the restricted access to the medicate she needs to survive. "I'm scared. If I'm truly honest, I'm scared knowing that I might not get any medication for a few weeks, or a couple of months, I just don't know when. "It's scary to know that I have to worry about getting hold of medication. I do believe that something needs to happen very quickly because even if it's pre-ordered there's no guarantee you're going to get it. Speaking to Sky News, Professor Ley Sander, director of medical services at the Epilepsy Society, says the supply concern is not just on the minds of patients but those in the industry too. "It might be that we need a strategic reserve for storage of drugs, we might have to bring drugs over from other parts of the world to avoid this from recurring. "We're not at that point yet, but this is an urgent issue." Read full story Source: Sky News, 21 January 2024
  14. Content Article
    Sharing his own personal experiences of harm, Richard highlights four routes where patients and families can report patient safety incidents to ensure patients' voices can be heard and, most importantly, acted upon.
  15. News Article
    One in 20 patients has to wait at least four weeks to see a GP at a time when funding for family doctor services is falling, NHS figures show. In November 2023, 1.5m appointments in England at a GP surgery took place four weeks or more after they were booked, 4.8% of the 31.9m held that month. In one in six appointments, 5.4m (17.3%), the patient was forced to wait at least two weeks after booking it to see a GP, practice nurse or other health professional. “Millions of people are being left anxious or waiting in pain because they can’t get an appointment with their GP,” said Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, who highlighted the latest evidence underlining the long delays that many patients face to see a GP. “Staggering” numbers of patients now have to wait a long time, he said. GP leaders blamed the situation on the widespread shortage of family doctors, which they said was making it impossible to keep up with the rising demand for appointments. Burnout due to intense workloads is prompting more GPs to work part time. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 22 January 2024
  16. News Article
    The mother of an 11-year-old Aberdeenshire girl with Long Covid has launched a legal action against their health board, in what lawyers claim is the first case of its kind in Scotland. Helen Goss, from Westhill, is seeking damages from NHS Grampian on behalf of her daughter, Anna Hendy. The action claims the health board is responsible for "multiple failings" in Anna's treatment and care. The claim alleges failings were avoidable, that they caused Anna "injury and damage", and led to her condition worsening. Anna became unwell after contracting Covid in 2020. The action alleges a number of failings by the health board. These include claims that requests for Anna to be referred to the specialist paediatric services of immunology and neurology were refused. It also claims no further help was offered after Anna was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Paediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS). And it says these failings "could have been avoided had NHS Grampian followed contemporary guidance on diagnosis and treatment". Read full story Source: BBC, 19 January 2024
  17. Content Article
    The following account has been shared with Patient Safety Learning anonymously. We’d like to thank the patient for to sharing their experience to help raise awareness of the patient safety issues surrounding outpatient hysteroscopy care.
  18. Content Article
    In this article for the Journal of Eating Disorders, Alykhan Asaria considers the criteria used in a paper by Guadiani et al. (J Eat Disord 10:23, 2022) to define ‘terminal anorexia nervosa’ and outlines concerns about this new term from a lived experience perspective. The author highlights issues about the ambiguities around how the criteria can be applied safely and the impact of labelling anorexia nervosa sufferers with terms. Further articles on the hub from Alykhan Asaria: ‘Terminal anorexia’: a lived experience perspective
  19. News Article
    The Welsh Ambulance Service is struggling to cope as many A&E departments are full and some patients have reportedly been waiting to be offloaded from ambulances for as long as 15 hours. The service has issued a plea for the public to "use 999 responsibly" amid severe pressure. An employee of the service said: "Nearly every A&E department is at capacity. Patients have been on ambulances for the last 15 hours. The ambulance service is only responding to red [immediately life-threatening] calls." The service has received almost 13,000 calls to 999 since Boxing Day and there have been almost 36,000 calls to the NHS 111 Wales service. Lee Brooks, the ambulance service’s operations boss, said: “Pent-up demand from the Christmas and New Year period, coupled with the seasonal illnesses we see at this time of year, means there are lots of people across Wales trying to access health services currently. When hospitals are at full capacity, it means ambulances can’t admit their patients, and while they’re tied up at emergency departments, other patients in the community are waiting a long time for our help, especially if their condition isn’t life-threatening. “We’re working really hard as a system to deliver the best possible care to patients, but our ask of the public today – and in the coming days – is only to call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured, or where there is an immediate threat to someone’s life. That’s people who’ve stopped breathing, people with chest pain or breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, choking, severe allergic reactions, catastrophic bleeding or someone who is having a stroke." Read full story Source: Wales Online, 3 January 2024
  20. News Article
    An alarming number of Britons are turning into “DIY doctors” because of the struggle to get an NHS GP appointment in 2023, new polling has revealed. Some 23% of those surveyed said they could not get an appointment, while three in 10 (33 per cent) said they had given up on booking one altogether, according to a Savanta poll commissioned by the Liberal Democrats. Many said they had resorted to “DIY” medical care or gone to A&E instead. One in seven (14 per cent) said they had been forced to treat themselves or ask someone else untrained to do so, with the same proportion seeking emergency care. One in five people said they had bought medication online or at a pharmacy without advice from a GP, and one in three had delayed seeing a doctor despite being in pain, as pressure on the NHS mounts. Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey described the figures as “utterly depressing” and said they should serve as an “urgent wake-up call for ministers asleep on the job”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 1 January 2024
  21. News Article
    At least 137,000 women in the UK live with the painful and traumatic consequences of cutting, but there is no provision for reconstructive surgery. In May 2023, Shamsa Araweelo was in the A&E department of a London hospital in excruciating pain. It wasn’t the first time she had sought urgent treatment for the gynaecological damage caused by the female genital mutilation (FGM), or cutting, forced on her as a six-year-old. In fact, this was one of many such visits to emergency departments that Araweelo had made in her desperate attempt to find a surgeon who could help undo the damage done to her as a child and which has caused her so much pain and trauma as an adult. Araweelo says that in A&E she was told that she had severe nerve damage and that it could be reversed through reconstructive surgery. But not in the UK. “No doctor in the country will touch you, because you are an FGM survivor,” Araweelo says she was told. “I felt no compassion, no respect. Only in London did they tell me they wished they had the appropriate training to help me, and it breaks my heart. We are not valued in the UK.” Current NHS rules state that if a health practitioner suspects a patient has been cut, they must report the case to the police and complete a safeguarding risk assessment to determine whether a social care referral is required. Guidance for GPs also recommends referrals for mental health issues related to FGM or referrals to uro-gynaecological specialist clinics. Araweelo says that in all the years she has sought help she has never been offered any kind of support from medical professionals. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 21 December 2023
  22. Content Article
    Record numbers of people are waiting for NHS treatments. The numbers have soared in recent years from 4.4 million before the pandemic to 7.8 million today. As winter approaches they look set to increase further still. With a pandemic and industrial action its been a very challenging time for the NHS. Monthly treatments are growing at a faster rate than pre-pandemic levels. But the waiting list is still rising as people come forward having postponed seeking treatment. On this episode of Call You and Yours, the host asks- "how are NHS waiting lists are affecting you and your family?"
  23. Content Article
    Mesh slings made of the same polypropylene plastic as the suspended women’s slings have been implanted into nearly 200 men across the UK suffering incontinence after prostate cancer. The operations were part of a trial in 28 hospitals where half the slings failed to fix men’s urinary leakage. Worse, just like the majority of women’s mesh implant trials, the full range of mesh-related pain was not logged in any paperwork.
  24. Content Article
    Conflicts and wars contribute substantially to the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). War-related factors that contribute to AMR include restricted resources, high casualties, suboptimal infection prevention control, and environmental pollution from infrastructure destruction and heavy metals release from explosives. This article in The Lancet looks at the impact of the war in Gaza on AMR. It highlights that access to essential antibiotics, primarily through donations, has been a continuous challenge due to the blockade of Gaza and that Gaza's already restricted national surveillance system for AMR adds to the challenges.
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