Do Poorly Trained Hospital Workers Cause Injuries?
Since its creation in 1948, the National Health Service has provided the United Kingdom with free, unlimited health care, saving and improving the lives of millions. Recent cuts have lead to an increase in medical negligence and errors according to a recent reports.
However, the recent strains of austerity have seen the NHS stretched to its limit: hospitals have become increasingly under equipped and staff are overworked and undervalued. Medical staff are being asked to undertake complex procedures for which they have not been trained due to budget cuts and redundancies. Every day patients safety and wellbeing is at risk of being compromised by staff forced outside of their expertise.
It has been hard to avoid the headlines of NHS failures over the past few years, and it seems as though everyone knows someone who has had an unsatisfactory experience in hospital. Recent reports have highlighted cases of negligence and errors in the workings of the system. These include dangerous cases of medication being prescribed to the wrong patient, despite this being highlighted as a 'Never Event' in the NHS' 2013 criteria.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (N.I.C.E) have provided definitive guidelines on the levels of care that should be provided by healthcare staff, but a BBC investigation highlights the ongoing risks of limited resources leading to potential complications and how these could be avoided.
The failures have attracted a great deal of criticism and many influential bodies have attempted to highlight the specific problems the NHS is now facing. The Royal College of Nursing (RNC) believe that the situation is predominantly due to a lack of trained nurses, placing healthcare assistants in dangerous situations, as well as putting patients at risk.
Notably, The Cavendish Review (2013) which arose from the Francis Inquiry surrounding the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust systemic failures, highlighted that training for health assistants was "neither sufficiently consistent, nor sufficiently supervised". Not only does this align with the concerns of the RNC and other healthcare organisations, but echoes the findings of the BBC investigation.
From the evidence gained from such enquiries it is clear to see that to improve patient safety and reduce risk, lessons must be learnt from the failings of the healthcare system. A new NHS must focus on the welfare of the patients above all else and ensure that all staff are fully trained and suitable to carry out their duties. Unfortunately, as highlighted by the BBC investigation, the NHS is still in a state of decline and conditions are yet to improve.
If you have suffered at the hands of medical or NHS negligence, contact is on 0800 612 7456 for a no obligation discussion.