Are cuts to the NHS Budget causing a rise in medical mistakes?

NHS Digital figures show that in the ten years from 2005 to 2015, the number of hospital attendances by patients caused by an ‘unintentional cut, puncture, perforation or haemorrhage during surgical and medical care’ rose from 2,193 to 6,082.

Health campaigners have argued that this rise in ‘mistakes’ has been caused by inadequate staffing and growing pressures within the NHS.

Speaking to The Daily Mail, Peter Walsh, Chief Executive of the charity Action Against Medical Accidents, said that more complex procedures and better reporting of incidents could also partly explain the rise.

Walsh said:

I suspect inadequate staffing and increased pressure at work are also factors….One of the most common mistakes we hear of during laparoscopic surgery is perforation of the bowel. This is very, very serious and can be fatal if not repaired very quickly.”

A Department of Health spokesman said:

NHS mistakes can lead to human suffering and tragedy. That’s why this government has focused relentlessly on driving up standards through a safer, seven-day NHS, with extra support for staff to speak out honestly when things go wrong, and a tough new watchdog to probe patient incidents – the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch.”

Clarke Willmott’s specialist medical negligence team have extensive experience in dealing with the human cost when medical ‘mistakes’ occur. If you are concerned that you or someone you know may have suffered an injury as a result of a medical ‘mistake’ please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Clinical Negligence Team on 0800 316 8892 for further advice.