Will there be a rise in medical negligence claims after doctors brand Wales’ biggest hospital as “dangerous”? | Bolt Burdon Kemp Will there be a rise in medical negligence claims after doctors brand Wales’ biggest hospital as “dangerous”? | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Will there be a rise in medical negligence claims after doctors brand Wales’ biggest hospital as “dangerous”?

The Royal College of Surgeons, the official body responsible for basic surgical training in England and Wales, has said that patients are put at risk due to a poor quality of services at the University Hospital of Wales.

The Royal College of Surgeons produced its report following investigations into care provided at University Hospital of Wales following a visit to its surgical departments in April 2013. The seven page report cites a range of criticisms mainly stemming from delays in treating patients.

The report states that the delays experienced mean that patients are “dying regularly” while waiting for heart operations.

Other criticisms include:

– Lack of time and resources to treat children with ear infections;

– Patients suffering from medical complications due to delays in treating their kidney stones;

– A&E and intensive care units were failing to cope with the amount of patients attending, resulting in lengthy delays in patients being seen;

– Failures in the maintenance and replacement of surgical equipment including concerns over the cleaning and sterilisation process.

The report states that more than “2,000 elective procedures [were] not scheduled because of lack of beds or cancelled in the first three months of 2013. This has resulted in increasing waiting lists such that patients are clearly coming to harm”.

The report highlighted concerns of claims that elective surgeries had been reduced in a bid to save costs and meet financial targets, at an expense to patient safety.

The Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, responsible for University Hospital of Wales, has admitted that the treatment provided was unacceptable and that they had been aware that they were failing to provide patients with good care. He stated “Some of the concerns identified in that document echo those raised by colleagues during our listening exercise earlier this year and work has been under way to address those […] The circumstances that we found ourselves in, I think, are unacceptable, and we’ve got to make sure that in the future that we have a much better response”.

Injuries suffered as a result of delays in patients being appropriately seen, assessed and treated can be significant and devastating. They can impact patients both short-term and long-term, and can affect their personal and professional lives.

If you have suffered from injuries due to delays in your treatment, you may have a claim for medical negligence. These claims could arise from attending a hospital, GP practice or nursing home in England or Wales. If you would like to discuss your concerns with no obligation and free of charge, please contact me on 0207 288 4849 or ipektugcu@boltburdonkemp.co.uk.

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