Daily Express

Experts on hand when you need them most

- by Yolanda Copes- stepneY

OVER the past four years more than 1,000 people have become victims of medical errors referred to as “never events” because they are errors or omissions so serious that they should not take place at all. Yet people have needed help after suffering serious injury in English hospitals due to medical blunders that should never happen.

A recent investigat­ion by the Press Associatio­n revealed that more than 1,000 patients have suffered from a “never event” in the past four years. More than 400 people suffered due to surgery on the wrong part of the body and more than 420 had objects left inside them after operations.

These basic, avoidable mistakes are totally preventabl­e if healthcare providers use nationally agreed guidance and safety procedures. But they still happen.

Other examples of “never events” include surgery on, or removal of, the wrong organ, using the wrong type of implant or joint replacemen­t, issuing incorrect medication­s or the wrong dosage, giving the patient the wrong blood type in a transfusio­n and diabetic patients not being given insulin.

The physical, emotional and financial cost to patients and their families can be devastatin­g and can even result in death.

It is important that a patient who suffers as a result of a “never event” seeks legal advice as soon as possible or as soon as they feel able. Compensati­on and interim payments assist with speedy access to quality, long- term rehabilita­tion.

THE financial help will cover loss of earnings, fund adaptation­s to the home and car and assist with the cost of aids and equipment, care and assistance and private medical treatment.

The Serious Injury Helpline, a service provided by Birchall Blackburn Law, was set up to help victims of clinical negligence get the right support during what can be a life- changing experience. Expert support is necessary because such cases are complicate­d and difficult to interpret for the layman.

Even if a person is not interested in making a civil claim The Serious Injury Helpline can offer guidance about getting answers, an apology and making an official complaint.

Speaking to a clinical negligence specialist gives the opportunit­y to highlight what has happened to the patient and to make sure it does not happen to anyone else.

As part of NHS England’s commitment to openness and transparen­cy regarding patient safety it publishes data on “never events” in detail on a monthly basis to openly tackle the issue.

It is hoped that a more open reporting system will enable staff to learn from mistakes and ensure that no more patients are injured. Speaking out will save lives.

INFORMATIO­N: If you need confidenti­al advice or help in the aftermath of clinical negligence, contact the Clinical Negligence Specialist­s at The Serious Injury Helpline on FREEPHONE 0800 230 0573.

 ??  ?? SPEAK OUT: Reporting medical errors can help staff to learn from their mistakes
SPEAK OUT: Reporting medical errors can help staff to learn from their mistakes

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