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Nine Shocking UK Medical Malpractice Statistics

We’re aware of the extent of medical malpractice in the UK here at 1stClaims, but we also know that many people remain unaware. Read on for nine UK medical malpractice statistics that are absolutely unbelievable!

These statistics come predominantly from an article originally published in The BMJ, formerly The British Medical Journal.

How does the health service measure up?

1. Five per cent

Five per cent of hospital deaths in a study of one thousand patients were considered preventable. That’s one in twenty hospital deaths, and given that most deaths in countries like the UK take place in a hospital, that is an extremely sobering statistic.

2. One week

The average amount of time between instances of ‘wrong site surgery’, where the wrong part of a patient’s body is operated on. The actual figure for the year 2011-12 was a little over once every five days, even worse than once a week.

3. Fifteen per cent

The rate of diagnostic error in standardised patients studies. These studies use real-life ‘secret shopper’ patients with clear symptoms to test diagnosis in a real practice under real conditions. The rate of error, at fifteen per cent, is close to what medical professionals believe due to information from other sources of research. Misdiagnosis is one of the most common forms of medical malpractice.

4. Thirty nine per cent

The variation between the worst and the best diagnosers of subarachnoid haemorrhage, a form of stroke. This massive variation, from a low of twelve per cent to a high of fifty one per cent, suggests that there are measurable factors that contribute to a correct diagnosis of subarachnoid haemorrhage.

5. One third

The number of patients who have themselves been misdiagnosed, or had a family member or close friend misdiagnosed.

6. One half

The number of surveyed paediatricians who reported making mistakes at least once or twice a month.

7. Seven

The average number of visits needed for a correct diagnosis of asthma. Alternatively, the median number of years required for the same diagnosis to be made.

8. Forty five thousand, four hundred and seventy six

The number of serious errors identified by NHS England within a period of six months.

9. One in seven

The number of medical negligence claims made after adverse medical events. With so many cases of medical negligence, this figure means an enormous number of medical negligence cases are simply passing by without justice being done.

What Does This Mean For You?

With only one in seven adverse medical events being claimed for, there are a lot of people out there who are getting a terrible, negligent service from their healthcare professionals and allowing their careless carers to get away with it.

It’s not remotely selfish to call people to account for a widespread, systematic issue within an area.

If you feel that you are one of the many people who have been unreasonably misdiagnosed or have been the victim of another form of medical malpractice, it is likely that 1stClaims can help.

Get in touch to see if we can help you out!

Sources for this article:

NHS England

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