NHS drug errors can leave patients suffering serious harm, and they can also cause fatalities. Even the smallest error with a dosage or a prescription could be the difference between life and death for some, which is why the government are aiming to drastically reduce what they have labelled as “appalling levels of harm and death” related to drug errors.
We advise and represent patients who have suffered harm because of NHS drug errors. From incorrect prescription dosage claims to clients being prescribed the wrong course of treatment… If you’ve suffered harm due to an NHS drug error, you may have a claim for medical negligence.
Drug errors are a rising problem in the NHS
According to recent figures, there are 237 million drug errors per year, and the mistakes are costing the already stretched NHS around £1.6bn. Medicine mistakes reportedly kill around 23,000 patients a year, while those that do survive drug errors can be left seriously ill or with lifelong complications and suffering.
Clearly, these figures need to drastically improve, and it’s no wonder patients approach us for help as a result of a drug error.
The errors can stem from a range of different scenarios, from handwritten notes by doctors being misread by pharmacists, to patients literally being mixed-up by nurses.
The issue of handwritten notes is reportedly such a huge problem that there are calls to end handwritten notes, and we’d agree. The extent of medical records that are barely legible as a result of poor handwriting is a real problem. In fact, it’s not uncommon for lawyers like us to have to re-request legible copies of key medical records that can often be pivotal for resolving cases. Sometimes, the hospitals have to approach the doctors or surgeons to decipher them.
It all leaves margins for error.
Other scenarios include pharmacists handing out the wrong medicines and doctors prescribing the wrong dosage. There is a lot that can go wrong, and we are pleased to see the government’s indication that improvements need to be made.
Victims of NHS drug errors are eligible to claim compensation on a No Win, No Fee basis for any suffering and harm caused.
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