While many proponents of the NHS indicate that most patients who file a medical negligence mistakes claim are looking for a cash pay out, a new article indicates that patients really want something much different: for the NHS to learn something valuable from the mistake and to not make the same mistake again thereafter. The article, recently published in The Guardian, refers to medical initiatives that can help to reduce the rate of repeat mistakes, especially when the results or the situation was bad enough to warrant a lawsuit. However, complainants against the NHS are not always hopeful that these changes can occur.
Reports from the NHS report that events that should never happen are happening, and with alarming frequency. Initiatives in place to help reduce the rate of repeat mistakes are already in the works, however, with auditors looking into multiple locations and types of incidents to find ways to combat problems. Those hospitals with high mortality rates have already begun to be visited by researchers looking at the standard of care, problems with staff, and other issues that can contribute to medical negligence. Reports from the NHS indicate that more than 1.2 million people are injured in incidents that could have, and often should have, been thought about ahead of time and taken care of long before it becomes a serious hazard. Yet another initiative is currently in place to reduce the number of deaths from medical negligence. However, there is no solid plan behind this idea, making it nothing than an idea.
Standardisation of the reporting and recording of information for deaths caused by medical negligence aims to assist in ensuring that patterns are identified early on and stopped as quickly as possible. Some initiatives, however, will be helpful. For instance, the plan to appoint safety champions by the thousands—reports indicate at least 5,000 appointments—to identify unsafe procedures and care that need to be deal with, will surely help create a safer system by helping to point out problem areas, or problem doctors, so that they can be dealt with accordingly.
Knowledge sharing has also been reported as a key to reducing the number of deaths caused by medical negligence. While one hospital may learn a serious lesson and make changes, if the knowledge about the event remains unspread, then the incident will likely occur again in the future.