Medical negligence is a growing concern for all, patients and physicians. Over the past few years the health service has saw many scandals hit the headlines for all different reasons, but negligence that happens within medicine can be catastrophic for patients and their families. A massive 1.1 billion pounds has been paid out by 20 hospital trusts due to medical neglect in one year alone. Doesn’t it make more sense to plough this money into more physicians for our ever growing population and training so that they are aware of the ever changing innovation that are discovered within medicine so that patients can be treated with a better standard of care?
Hospital trusts have over the past five consecutive years have had to pay out a total of 4.5 billion pounds for medical negligence claims and mistakes in the UK. It comes as no surprise that patients and the general public are losing faith with the health service and even certain hospitals have no belief in themselves as mistake after mistake are hitting news paper headlines almost on a daily basis. The fact that statistics are showing that medical neglect scandals are happening more than 4 times as much than a decade ago proves without doubt that the health service is in crisis. According to the Red Cross the health service is experiencing a Humanitarian crisis. What is causing this massive increase? And how can we prevent such negligence within our health care service?
There is no denying that misdiagnosis is s a major concern, as many as 12,500 patients of the health service died in one year alone as they are not being diagnosed correctly or are receiving a diagnosis that is delayed. Some illnesses are diagnosed so late that they become irreversible resulting in fatalities. A hospital in the south of the country paid out the highest amounts in compensation during a 3 year period for medical misdiagnosis. 13.8 Million was paid out over 3 years by the hospital in regards to 55 different cases for medical blunders concerning misdiagnosis. If you feel that you have suffered a misdiagnosis or medical neglect that has had a direct effect on your health then you may be able to make a claim for medical negligence compensation.
There is a huge burden on the NHS every year to payout massive sums of money in terms of compensation to those who have suffered at the hands of physicians and medical staff who have offered nothing more than a poor standard service. A major concern is that liability is being drawn out, critics have said that if hospitals admit that they are wrong at the earlier stages of medical negligence compensation cases then costs can be largely reduced.
What else can be done to reduce Medical Neglect and their ever rising costs?
Seems like a pretty straight forward question, however if it is that easy to answer why are medical negligence incidents rising? It is clear that the health service needs new ways to prevent such negligence from occurring on a regular basis. Statistics are very clearly showing a rise in medical negligence year on year, more and more medical mistakes are happening and action is needed immediately.
It is true that medical negligence stems from the inaccuracy and substandard care provided by the minority of health care workers and physicians, and that is where the health care service need to start when it comes to drastically overhauling the health care service. However if we look beyond what is in front of us wouldn’t it be an idea if more patients and the public was educated on certain aspects of the health service?
Making patients and the public aware of what to expect when receiving treatment and medication from the health service could be a way of reducing medical negligence, if patients are aware of the standard of treatment they should be receiving while seeing their GP or attending an hospital appointment they have a greater knowledge to be able to judge for themselves if they are being treated correctly. This in turn can but a stop to any poor treatment they are receiving and neglect may be controlled and acted up on before it’s even started.
Up to date and upcoming new Medical Innovations
Keeping the public up to date with any new medical treatments and medicines could also stem the growth of negligence as patients can make more informed decisions on the type of treatment they can opt for. Helping the doctor by offering your own opinion could mean a patient receives better care and a better sense of involvement.
Misdiagnosis is a major concern for all, much of the medical neglect that takes place within the health service happens due to either medical neglect or medical misdiagnosis. A huge way we could help patients and the public reduce the amount of misdiagnosis is informing them on a wider scale of the symptoms and signs of diseases that are plaguing our society. Many people are ignorant to the onset of some of the major illnesses that cause great harm to the human body, educating people of symptoms could mean that diagnoses could happen earlier. If patients are armed with the ability to spot as many signs as they can if an illness or disease attacks their body then they can better inform the physician of what they are experiencing. Educating people on the possible signs of illness can mean that they can make better informed decisions on their health not leaving their health in the hands of doctors that may neglect to notice or diagnose certain illnesses.
Being a Better Patient
Becoming a more informed patient may not always reduce medical negligence however it offers the patient a lot more control over what happens to their bodies. It was once the concept that ‘Doctor knows best’ but that has longed been phased out with the growing neglect people are experiencing right across the board of the health care system. Teaching people what to look out for in terms of illness and disease could mean that they can event take preventive methods to prevent certain ill-health. NHS doctors, GP’s, nurses see many patients each day, if a patient comes in with a comprehensive list of symptoms then their illness is likely to be diagnosed at an earlier stage allowing them to receive treatment at the earliest possible moment. This does not mean however that doctors do not have to be vigilant and precise when listening to and examining patients but as the numbers continue to grow for medical neglect maybe it’s time the patient had some control over the health service.
Morecambe Bay Inquiry
In a recent inquiry termed the Morecambe Bay Inquiry, the chair of the committee noted that the Government is looking for short term remedies instead of focusing on long term goals. As the Nursing Times pointed out, almost a year after the Furness general hospital inquiry which found that at least 10 babies and one mother died due to failures in its maternity ward, only 10 out of the 26 recommendations were actually carried out. However, the Government has simply gone on to accept all of the recommendations made in the past by inquiry committees in order to escape the backlash from the public. The result is that the solutions accepted were unrealistic even if ideal. As the Morecambe Bay Inquiry has highlighted, the Government should focus on taking ideas that can be implemented, rather than ones that are forced on by the public.
Another recent report, post by the Red Cross on its website pointed out how inadequately staffed the NHS is to handle normal workloads. It was found that Red Cross was actually using Land Rovers to transfer patients all over the country during the last winter. Although the government has responded by saying that the load increases during the winter, that is hardly an excuse the healthcare system of UK should be making. Opposition party leaders have called forth for more budgets to be pushed into the healthcare sector despite the claims of the current administration that it has already injected more than £400 million.
Revolutionary New Microscope documents living nerve synapses
A new microscope that is able to further our boundaries of science has been invented. The researchers at Washington University School located in St Louis have been able to study synapses in much more detail than ever before with the help of a custom-made microscope. The microscope is so sensitive, that it is able to able to analyse live neurons from up close. As they have said, this is a monumental work in understanding the brain and how it works. The whole process can benefit several major brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and depression significantly by studying when and how the synapses fire during the problems.
Avoiding Diabetes and Obesity
Always wanted that toned down body, but do not feel like hitting the gym? You might be in luck as researchers at the St Louis University in Missouri claim to be developing a pill that simulates muscle metabolism. Simply put, it will tell your body that it has worked out even if you have done nothing but sit on the couch. The result is that the genes which get activated during workouts will be activated, in turn burning your pesky fat without you having to workout.
Dogs can sniff out cancer
Human beings have always taken inspiration from nature in order to solve problems. The latest in this line of inspirations seem to come from our favourite 4 legged canine friends. German Shepherds are able to sniff out cancer simply by sniffing bandages 100% of the time, a new study has found. This is expected to revolutionise cancer detection in countries where mammograms are hard to conduct, says, researchers. They went on to say that this was possible only after 6 months of training. The motivation was that dogs with far superior noses than us would be able to pick out cancerous cells with much higher accuracy. The results were astounding, with absolute accuracy recorded by 2 German shepherds, trained with the game playing and reward model.
Drug ‘reverses’ age in animals
Who does not want to be young forever? A new drug that has done just that has been found. A team of researchers at the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Netherlands has tested a new drug on old mice which has not only helped them restore stamina and fur but partial organ function as well. The approach, says the researchers, work by pulling out cells that have stopped dividing, from the body. While researchers from around the globe have remained sceptical of the same, the news certainly is interesting and cannot be dismissed directly.
Blood scarcity is one of the most important factors plaguing major parts of the world today. However, according to a team of researchers from University of Bristol and NHS, this might soon be eradicated. They claim to have developed, what they hope, is a process to mass produce red blood cells at the laboratory. However, the scale of operation is not viable as the mass produced blood would still be more costly than a conventional donation. The process can be used for rare blood types. The process, as they documented, is to trap stem cells in an early stage, so that they can multiply indefinitely. Once there are enough stem cells, they can simply be triggered to become blood cells. While the biological map for creating the blood cells are already available, the technology to scale it up is not yet available. Expansion of yield is a new phase: say the researchers.
Trump withdraws his American Healthcare Act
US president Donald Trump has withdrawn a Healthcare bill after it failed to gather enough support from the Congress. In fact, repealing the programmed known as the Obamacare was one of his major election pledges, and the failure to do so is being seen as a big blow to the Trump administration.
Parasitic Twin Removed
A major breakthrough in the field of childcare surgery has been achieved at the Advocate Children’s Hospital in Chicago. A highly rare case of a parasitic twin was observed in the case of baby Dominique. The parasitic twin was attached at a very important junction of neck and thoracic spine and posed a major complication during the surgery. The doctors used state of the art imaging technique to map out the whole problem and conducted the surgery to ensure she was not left paralysed. Needless to say, baby Dominique will go live her life happily with her family.
Blood Tests and Diagnosing Cancer
A new blood test, which can diagnose and pinpoint cancer BEFORE it has manifested has been developed. The breakthrough can revolutionise cancer treatment, say, researchers. The test called Cancer Locator has been developed by the University of California and works by searching for blood that circulates from the tumours in the blood of cancer patients. While the technique is still being developed, it has the potential to be a very big help to cancer patients.
Some Cancers are unavoidable
Around two thirds of cancers are simply unavoidable, even if you lead a healthy life, says a new study. According to scientists in the US, cancers are caused by random mistakes in the genes when cells divide. This changes a long standing belief that cancer is influenced by environmental and genetic factors and puts it all down to luck. The research article, published in the journal Science, points out that nearly 66% of all cancers are due to DNA copying errors.
The simple contraceptive pill does more than just prevent pregnancy. According to a new study, it seems that it also protects women from cancer even 35 years from when they stop taking it. While there is a slight risk in increased breast and ovarian cancer, the study noted that this was temporary and vanished a few years after the pill was stopped.