NHS Medication Errors Cause 22,000 Deaths per Year
It has been reported that the NHS makes hundreds
of millions of prescribing errors and mix-ups which contribute to as many as 22,000 deaths a year, according to a major report commissioned by the Government.
These errors include failures to properly monitor patients on powerful drugs, poor communication between GPs and hospitals, and giving patients the wrong medication.
Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt will announce new measures to reduce errors, improve patient safety and bring down the cost of mistakes – which stands at £1.6bn a year.
Labour shadow health minister Justin Madders said the 100,000 unfilled NHS jobs in England, revealed in official data this week, was “having a huge impact on patient safety”.
Prescribing and Dispensing Errors
The Medical Negligence solicitors at Treadstone Law have dealt with many compensation claims arising from prescribing and dispensing errors. Examples of prescribing errors include a Doctor incorrectly writing up the dose of the drug, leading to the patient receiving an overdose. Particular attention has to be paid when prescribing drugs to children and errors can be made in prescribing a child an adult dose. Overdoses of certain drugs can have a devastating effect on the body.
GPs can sometimes prescribe medication repeatedly for many years without considering whether a repeat prescription is actually suitable for the patient, sometimes leading to physical injury from chronic overdose or addiction to certain medications.
Dispensing errors more commonly occur at the chemist. If a doctor has made an error in the spelling of a drug’s name or has not written the name clearly the chemist could dispense the wrong drug. This could lead to the patient not receiving the correct treatment for their condition which may then get worse, or they could receive a drug to which they have an adverse reaction.
When to Claim Compensation
Many medication errors cause harm only for a short period, but some result in serious injury, illness and even death. If you have been injured due to poor medical care from healthcare professionals, then you may be a victim of medical negligence. We understand how distressing this can be and we’re here to help you through this difficult time