Hospital negligence on the rise
According to a recent report by the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20556094), hospitals in England are over-subscribed, causing patient care to suffer as a result.
Hospitals should have 85% capacity to provide sufficient resources to cope with surges in demand throughout peak times in the year.
Analysts at Dr Foster have established that 145 hospital Trusts in England are operating at 88% average capacity. When hospitals are this busy, systems break down and patients suffer as a consequence.
Infections become harder to control and mistakes are more likely to occur.
The analysis suggests that if the NHS organised itself better, it could relieve pressure on hospitals. Startlingly, a massive 29% of beds are occupied by patients who do not require in-patient care and whose condition can be managed appropriately in the community (such as asthma and heart disease). This could mean that someone who desperately needs hospital-based treatment is left untreated.
The Chief Executive of the Patients Association said she hears daily from patients and families who are on the receiving end of unacceptably poor care.
In addition to the stats on bed occupancy, Dr Foster also identified an increase in death rates (including deaths following surgery, or deaths in patients with “low-risk” conditions). The findings will hopefully help to identify those hospitals which are falling below the requisite standard and help to implement better safeguards to prevent unnecessary deaths in future.
We have extensive experience in representing patients and their families in claims relating to unacceptable hospital care or treatment. If you would like some advice, please contact our medical negligence team.