Hemel Hempstead Medical Negligence

Have you, or a family member, been the victim of a medical error at Hemel Hempstead Hospital?

If the answer is yes, you could be entitled to claim compensation. But for the best chances of a successful claim, you’re going to need an accredited specialist medical negligence solicitor. And at the time of writing, not only is there no such solicitor in Hemel Hempstead, but there’s no such specialist anywhere in the whole of Hertfordshire.

But we can help – the specialist team of accredited medical negligence solicitors here at Bonallack and Bishop [the law firm who run this website] can help you win that compensation.

The statistics make it clear how few genuinely independently accredited specialists there are – out of over 100,000 solicitors nationwide, just 180 have been accredited by the other leading panel for medical negligence solicitors [for details see below] and our team is led by one of them. And another member of the team, prior to qualification as a solicitor, was a highly experienced nurse.

What’s more we regularly run cases in Hertfordshire.


Hemel Hempstead Hospital sees over 100,000 patients every year, and thankfully most of them receive excellent treatment. But unfortunately there have been a series of worrying mistakes made at the hospital recently,and indeed throughout Hertfordshire, some of which have given rise to medical negligence claims.

Here are just four causes of real concern.

  • Latest CQC inspection report dated 10 September 2015
    The recent report by independent hospital regulator, the Care Quality Commission is not good news for local people. In short, the overall conclusion was that the hospital “requires improvement”.Of the four main areas looked at by the report, where there was enough information available to the sea QC, three out of four were described as substandard. In particular they found the following; 

    •  Safety – Requires improvement
    •  Speed of Response –  Requires improvement
    • Leadership – Inadequate

The only good news was that overall, the level of care was described as good.

However things got no better when the CQC went into more detail, looking at particular services. Of the only two services where there was enough information, both outpatients and A&E were both described as “requiring improvement”.

All very worrying if you live in Hemel Hempstead and require medical care from your local hospital.

  • However sadly the latest 2016 report was nothing new.
    Respected hospital statistics website Dr Foster had issued a major report, covering patient deaths in NHS Trusts in England between April 2012 and March 2013. The report revealed that 16 NHS Trusts had higher death rates than would be expected among patients, and others performed badly on other factors which may contribute to patient deaths. One of the poorly performing Trusts was West Hertfordshire Hospital NHS Trust, which is responsible for three hospitals – Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead General Hospital.

Dr Foster looked into a range of hospital statistics such as a raw measure of how many people died during their hospital stay, how many died post-surgery, the numbers of patients how died within 30 days of being discharged from hospital and the deaths among low-risk patients who would have ordinarily be expected to survive. All of these figures showed that 10 hospital Trusts have one or more individual sites which have a death rate which is higher than the average for that particular Trust area.

  • Then in January 2015,  West Hertfordshire NHS Trust had to apologise for a horrible error. A man, after he had been informed that his father had died in hospital, was taken to seize father’s body – to pay his last respects. However some sort of mistake occurred and the man was actually shown the body of not his father – but of another patient who had recently died. The trust refused to identify which of the three hospitals they run was responsible for the error.
  • This followed a series of earlier errors where 810 suspected cancer patients were discharged, between January 2010 and November 2013, without having been seen. It is believed that at least one person died directly as a result of this failure and the others all needed to have their case reviewed. The Government’s Care Quality Commission has been looking into these failures.

Even Hemel Hempstead hospital’s own Facebook page fails to inspire confidence. At the time of writing this article, the latest post from a patient read as follows:

“There does not appear to be any one at Hemel Hospital or within the trust who knows how to deal with complaints , or is it that they just cannot be bothered ?”

Unsurprisingly, in 5 months, no one from the hospital has bothered answering this post on their own website.

Doesn’t give you much confidence does it?


Click here to find out more about why you need a specialist medical negligence solicitor – and how you can identify one.

Click here to find out what a medical negligence solicitor does – and why genuine expertise is so important.


Strict time limitation periods apply to all medical negligence claims – so don’t delay getting in touch with us.

And you don’t need to worry about paying your legal bill with our No Win No Fee agreements.

For FREE initial advice and a FREE 1st appointment from specialist Medical Negligence specialists you can trust:

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    Watford Medical Negligence

    Are you the victim of medical negligence at Watford General Hospital?

    We can help you claim compensation. Here at solicitors Bonallack and Bishop, we have a team of accredited medical negligence specialists – and you really do need an expert when it comes to running a medical negligence claim.

    Unfortunately, not only are there currently no accredited medical negligence specialists in Watford – but there are that none anywhere in Hertfordshire.

    But don’t worry – we can help. We regularly run cases in Hertfordshire.

    So for FREE no strings attached initial phone advice – call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544

    The statistics make it clear how few genuinely independently accredited specialists there are – out of over 100,000 solicitors nationwide, just 180 have been accredited by the other leading panel for medical negligence solicitors [for details see below] and our team is led by one of them. And another member of the team, prior to qualification as a solicitor, was a highly experienced nurse.

    What’s more we regularly run cases in Hertfordshire.


    We think so – and campaigning patient justice charity AvMA agree with us. Click here to find out why..


    Watford General Hospital is big district general hospital with a full range of services,  approximately 600 beds and it provides care for around 500,000 people in Hertfordshire. The  maternity service alone is one of the largest in south-east England, and delivers around 6000 babies every year .

    But the last few years have sadly seen what appears a never-ending series of major failures and medical errors at the hospital. Amongst the more notable problems have been the following;

    • Perhaps most seriously, September 2015 saw the NHS trust  in charge of Watford General Hospital put into what is referred to as “special measures” after an inspection by Government health watchdog the Care Quality Commission [CQC]. The report pulled no punches – as well as calling for big improvements, services provided by the hospital were rated by the CQC as “inadequate”. Amongst the more worrying disclosures in the report were serious failings in the quality of patient care, failure to learn the lessons of previous mistakes,  long delays for emergency patients turning up at A&E – and it was noted in general that many facilities were in such a bad state of repair repair that they were “a potential risk to staff and visitors” – and perhaps most remarkably a complete “lack of a safety culture”.
    • But the September 15 report was nothing new. Earlier in January 2014 an earlier unsatisfactory CQC report found the hospital requiring action in 5/6 categories – including something as basic as the “care and welfare of people who use services” -and “cleanliness and infection control”As a result it’s hardly surprising there are been many individual instances of failures at the hospital including:
      • The premature death of a Hemel Hempstead postman’s when he was misdiagnosed with a chest infection by hospital staff. The 61-year-old man was, in fact, suffering from the far more serious bronchial pneumonia. Tragically he passed away just six hours after arriving at Watford General Hospital
      • The death of two cancer patients at the hospital after a failure to give them follow-up appointments, breaking basic NHS rules. An internal investigation concluded that this meant the diagnosis of their cancer was delayed and may have contributed to their death.


    For FREE initial advice and a FREE 1st appointment from specialist Medical Negligence specialists you can trust:

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      Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust PLaced In Special Measures

      Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has now been placed into special measures. It is the first mental health trust in England and Wales to receive this drastic treatment.

      A recent inspection of the Trust, which runs various healthcare services and hospitals in East Anglia, detected a number of serious problems resulting in an overall “inadequate” rating

      The inspection by the CQC (Care Quality Commission) led the Chief Inspector of Hospitals to recommend it be placed into special measures. The inspection in question took place in October of 2014. CQC inspectors looked at the Trust overall and at individual services, and rate them on a four point scale of outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.

      The Trust provides learning disability services and mental health care to a large swathe of Suffolk and Norfolk and was found to be in need of significant improvements to ensure that it was providing its patients with care which was effective, safe, well managed and responsive to the needs of patients.

      CQC concerns regarding the Norfolk and Suffolk Trust were passed to Monitor – the official body responsible for health services across England – which has now made the special measures decision.

      “Inadequate” services “requiring improvement”

      Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust was rated “inadequate” when inspectors looked at whether services were properly managed and safe, and “requiring improvement” for services being effective and responsive. The CQC rated the Trust as “inadequate” overall.

      During the inspection the CQC found that across many areas of the Trust staff morale was exceptionally low, and there were concerns raised about the lack of support given to staff by senior management.

      The CQC also found examples of unsafe environments which did not allow patient dignity, not enough staff on duty to meet the needs of patients, poor management of medication and issues around practices concerning seclusion and restraint.

      The CQC demanded that the Trust take action to identify and remove ligature risks, and to make alternative arrangements where staff cannot easily see patients. The CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Dr Paul Lelliott, said that a number of serious problems were identified during the CQC inspection.

      Dr Lelliott said that the CQC was concerned about both the quality and safety of care found in some of the Trust’s services. He also stated that the CQC were worried by the low levels of morale expressed by many of the staff who had been spoken to, who expressed the opinion that they were not being heard by senior Trust management.

      CQC inspectors did identify some positives from the inspection, and found good examples of working practices across disciplines from staff in the child and adolescent community teams.

      Victim of medical negligence from Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Trust? Call our specialists today

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        2014 Accident and Emergency Department Statistics Released

        During the early part of 2014, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) interviewed almost 40,000 adults who attended large Accident and Emergency departments in January and February about their experiences.

        A&E Performance – The Main findings

        Perhaps the best news for the NHS to come out of the research was that the majority of patients were positive in their feedback. 79% of patients felt that they had been treated with dignity and respect. This does of course mean that a significant number – more than 1 in 5 – felt that they had not been treated in this way. Feedback about discharge procedures was also largely positive.

        The report also found that A&E departments should be doing more to make sure they are offering a safe, effective and responsive service. Some patients arriving in A&E waited for lengthy periods in an ambulance before having their care transferred to A&E staff, and others waited too long to be given adequate pain relief.

        The worrying variation in performance between hospitals

        The report also flagged up wide variations in experiences between different patients, trusts and groups of patients. Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said that they had found “significant variation” between different NHS Trusts.

        The report also highlighted the fact that patients with learning disabilities or mental health problems should be given more support from A&E staff if they become distressed.

        The report was also happy to publish lists of the best and worst A&E departments across the country. It won’t come as a surprise to our blog readers that some of the NHS Trusts whose A&E departments are listed as the poorest performing have been discussed previously for other patient failings too.

        The  worst Accident and Emergency departments in England and Wales

        The “prize” for the worst A&E department goes to Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust in the North-West, with Medway Foundation Trust in Kent as a close runner-up. Both of these hospitals were put into special measures over a year ago over rising concerns about high death rates and failures in care.

        Trusts Performing “Worse than Expected”

        There are a number of Trusts which performed “worse than expected” in at least 20% of all the questions asked of respondents. Two Trusts were graded “worse” than other trusts in two out of three questions, and unsurprisingly these two are Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Medway NHS Foundation Trust. Tameside was rated extremely poorly in questions regarding how well staff communicated with patients and the quality of information given, as well as the guidance given on discharge. Medway NHS Foundation Trust performed more poorly than had been expected on waiting times and staff interaction.

        The full list of Trusts performing worse than expected is:

        1. Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

        2. Medway NHS Foundation Trust

        3. Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

        4. North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

        5. Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

        6. Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

        7. Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

        8. Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust

        9. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

        10. University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

        Better than Expected Results For Some

        The other side of the coin are the 12 NHS Trusts which were found to be performing “better than expected” in 20% of questions within the patient survey.

        Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust topped the charts by performing better than had been expected in 69% of the survey questions, and was consistently strong in sections concerning communication between staff and patients and information given to patients when they were discharged.

        The “better than expected” NHS Trusts are:

        1. Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

        2. Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

        3. Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

        4. Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

        5. Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

        6. South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

        7. Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

        8.Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust

        9. Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

        10. South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust

        11. Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

        12. Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

        Victim of A &E medical negligence at an underperforming hospital? Thinking of claiming compensation? – contact us now

        Our special medical negligence team have the skills and experience to help you to win the compensation you deserve – and will treat your claim with sensitivity.

        Don’t suffer in silence – speaking to an experienced solicitor can put your mind at rest. For FREE specialist legal advice over the phone

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          4 year-old, with a 98% probability of surviving on arrival, dies after Stoke Mandeville Hospital made 28 blunders

          With vomiting and diarrhoea, Oliver Blockley was given a 95% probability of survival when he was taken to hospital. Despite this, the four-year-old youngster died after Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire made a total of 28 blunders in managing his care.

          Medics incorrectly diagnosed the youngster with gastroenteritis, a stomach virus which antibiotics cannot manage, and as a consequence Oliver was not supplied with the drug that could have cured him. Oliver actually had an invasive form of sore throat bacteria called Strep A, which a simple blood test would have been able to pick up.

          Eventually dehydration set in as Oliver was not given important fluids. Septic shock took hold of his body, he turned grey, and he ultimately sustained a fatal cardiac arrest just hours after his arrival. Jennifer, his devastated mother, said she was at first “denied information” and told that Oliver had stomach bug and he would be all right. She learned later that her son had essentially a 95% possibility of surviving, had the medics acted quickly.

          As of 2013, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust was put into special measures. It has now apologised to the family and are poised to pay out a five figure compensation award, accepting 28 individual counts of negligence.

          When Ms Blockley took her son to Stoke Mandeville’s A&E departments in October 2011, she was originally told to return home to Thame, Oxfordshire, and to provide him with fluids. She adamantly believed that Oliver’s condition was more extreme and that he continued to stay at the hospital. Irrespective of blood tests disclosing that he was drastically dehydrated, and was heading for septic shock, doctors rejected the idea of administering antibiotics or give him fluids.

          A quick heart rate and fast breathing (symptoms of septic shock) were missed by the nurses and doctors during the course of the evening. In fact, Oliver was not monitored at all between 8 PM and 1 AM. Even though nurses noted his dilated pupils and grey colouring, doctors showed up too late and he died as a result of cardiac arrest. Only 30 minutes preceding his death did the doctors finally give him antibiotics. Following his death, nurses still kept to their story, informing Oliver’s mother that he had a tummy bug and not streptococcal.

          This is yet another upsetting scenario where the NHS simply did not accept their mistakes prior to legal action and a medical negligence claim being taken, putting the family through more stress in what was an already extremely distressing time. An independent expert review has been commissioned by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

          Looking for a UK clinical negligence claims solicitor? Call us now

          Here at Bonallack and Bishop, our team specialise in medical negligence compensation – and our medical solicitors offer FREE initial telephone advice, a FREE first appointment and no win no fee funding for all medical claims.

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            Dr Foster Reports on NHS Fatality Rates

            The recently released 2013 Dr Foster Hospital Guide considers many factors affecting NHS Trusts throughout the UK, including mortality rates. The Dr Foster Guide, put together by a highly respected research unit at Imperial College in London, has published mortality figures for over 10 years, and it is important to know how mortality rates and collected and measured, and what baseline these figures should be compared against.

            Measuring Mortality in the NHS

            In the most basic terms, mortality comparison involves taking the total number of deaths which happen in a specific hospital or NHS Trust, and comparing the figure to the numbers of deaths happening in other areas of the country. In order to make the comparison meaningful, researchers compare groups of patients with similar conditions to get an accurate result. Mortality reports comparing deaths of similar patients in different hospitals can give indications of which hospitals need to improve.

            Dr Foster goes through the following process to calculate the mortality rates around the UK.

            1. A count is done of the total number of hospital patients who have died during the time period under consideration.

            2. As many as 12 additional factors such as the types of patients treated in a hospital, their illnesses or age are taken into account.

            3. The hospital’s own Hospital Standardised Mortality Rate (HSMR) is used. This figure calculates how many patients would have been expected to die over the time period, taking into account all of the above factors such as age and type of illness.

            4. The hospitals are then banded depending on how well or how poorly they are performing on mortality rates.

             Other Factors

            The process is very complex, and in addition to considering the raw data the research group looks at things such as patients who have died during surgery, those who die within a month of leaving hospital after treatment, the age of the patients being treated, whether they suffered from any underlying medical conditions, and if they were admitted to hospital as an emergency or for a routine procedure.

            All mortality rate studies depend on the hospital providing accurate coding information to the researchers about their patients. If details such as infections or complications during treatment are not properly noted, this could lead to the figures being skewed.

            Dr Foster Findings

            There are many findings which can be taken from the 2013 Dr Foster report. In absolute terms, just over 237,000 patients died in hospital during 2013, which is the second lowest death rate in ten years. The report also shows that death figures are not declining in a steady pattern; 2013’s figures were better than in 2010/11, but more than in 2011/12.

            There is also a differing picture across the country. Using the HSMR figures, 16 NHS Trusts have higher mortality rates than might have been expected, and 29 Trusts have lower rates. There is a lot more detail in the full report which is available on the Dr Foster website, and this detail should be used by all NHS Trusts to identify which areas of their hospitals need to be improved. Understanding failings and acting on them should lead to mortality rates dropping even further in the future.

            Considering making a NHS Fatality Negligence Claim? Call us now

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              Dr Foster Report 2013 – Doctors’ Opinions On Their Own Hospitals

              Each year, the Dr Foster Hospital Guide reports several findings regarding patients and hospital trusts in the NHS, such as patient mortality rates and the level of care provided by hospital staff during certain times. While the data gathered during these studies is extremely important in showing how the NHS is performing, the annual guide also looks to add further information to the report using a staff survey – this gives the NHS staff a voice of their own to accompany the statistics regarding their hospital trusts. Here’s a brief run down on what the survey asked and what the findings were.

              Details Of The Survey

              The Dr Foster Hospital Guide teamed up with Doctors.net.uk for this year’s survey (which ran from the 24th of September to the 16th of October 2013), and the website invited its membership of doctors – all of whom are GMC-registered secondary care doctors – to answer their questions. Out of the 110,915 doctors who were invited to participate, five percent (5,669) completed the survey. 4,638 of these worked in hospitals in England.

              What Were The Findings?

              There were several interesting findings from the survey. For instance, when faced with the statement ‘I would recommend my organisation as a place to work’, 65.4% either agreed or agreed strongly. Only 14.1% disagreed or disagreed strongly, with 0.9% saying they don’t know and a further 19.6% neither agreeing or nor disagreeing with the statement. In terms of management, only half of those asked agreed that ‘my organisation acts on concerns raised by staff’ (with 18.7% either disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with the statement), and 26.1% disagreed with the statement that ‘I have confidence in the board and management team in the trust in which I work’.

              Only 61% of doctors reported that they had sufficient information to be able to evaluate the outcomes of their practice, and only 32% of doctors believe that patients receive the same level of care at weekends as they do during the week. However, perhaps what is most telling of all, when asked if the doctors would choose to be treated in NHS hospitals over other private providers, 95% answered in the affirmative.

              More About The Dr Foster Report

              The annual Hospital Guide is extremely useful in showing hospital trusts in the NHS where they need to improve in order to reach the highest possible levels of patient care, and this report marks the 12th edition in the series. The guide is an independent study into NHS hospitals, and can be viewed online if you wish to find out more about how they conduct the report and about the conclusions this year’s guide reached.

              Victim of UK medical negligence? Call us now

              Here at Bonallack and Bishop, our team specialise in medical negligence claims – and we offer FREE initial telephone advice  and a FREE first appointment for all medical  claims.

              • Call now on (01722) 422300 or

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                How To Make A Bone Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim

                Cancer is regrettably something that almost half of us will encounter during our lives according to Macmillan Cancer Support – and it can be an incredibly stressful and scary time. Luckily, in the UK we can expect a high level of care and treatment for any type of cancer, bone cancer included. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that mistakes are not made, and medical negligence (sometimes called clinical negligence) simply occur far too often in our hospitals.

                If you have been diagnosed with cancer and believe you have suffered due to an error made your medical care, you could be eligible to make a claim for compensation.

                What Is Bone Cancer?

                When it comes to bone cancer, there are primary tumours (a tumour that actually starts by growing inside one of your bones) and secondary tumours (when existing cancer spreads into the bone from another part of the body). There are four main types of primary bone cancer:

                • Osteosarcoma: the most common type, this is found mainly in children and young people, and develops mostly in the larger bones of the body.

                • Ewing’s Sarcoma: this is usually found in the shin, thigh, or pelvis, and mainly affects children and people under 20 years of age.

                • Chondrosarcoma: this usually affects adults between 40 and 50 years of age, and can develop in the shoulder blade, ribs, pelvis, thigh and upper arm bone.

                • Spindle Cell Sarcoma: this affects adults over 40 years of age but has similar symptoms to osteosarcoma.

                Symptoms of bone cancer include: progressively worsening bone pain that is more painful at night, swollen joints, sweating (again, more at night), weight loss, and a high temperature. While bone cancer is very rare, all of these symptoms should be checked out by a doctor if they occur together. While the causes of bone cancer aren’t always clear, people can be more likely to develop it if they have had exposure to radiation or if they suffer from Paget’s disease of the bone.

                What Can Bone Cancer Misdiagnosis Involve?

                As with any form of cancer, there are several different ways in which bone cancer can be misdiagnosed. As the main treatment used for bone cancer is chemotherapy (to shrink the tumour) followed by surgery to remove the affected bone (in the past, this involved amputation, but now can be done using a metal implant as a substitute), a misdiagnosis can lead to unthinkable consequences. A recent study found that primary bone cancer was being misdiagnosed by some doctors as growing pains or sporting injuries, due to the symptoms of pain in the bones and swollen joints being similar in both cases. This can be especially true of osteosarcoma cases, which occur mostly in children and can get misdiagnosed due to more common explanations. You could be entitled to make a compensation claim for bone cancer misdiagnosis if:

                • A diagnosis of bone cancer has been made when you haven’t actually got cancer.

                • A failure to diagnose bone cancer has led to a delay in your treatment.

                • Symptoms of your cancer were mistaken for something else entirely.

                • Any delay occurred with your diagnosis.

                • A medial professional failed to properly inform you of the outcomes and risks of a procedure or course of treatment.

                • Improper methods were used during tests which led to further complications.

                There can be other forms of misdiagnosis when it comes to bone cancer, so make sure you get the advice of a professional, experienced medical negligence solicitor before you make a claim.

                Making Your Bone Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim

                As with other claims of medical negligence, it is very important to make your claim as soon as you become aware of the issue. This is because there are often strict time limits for these types of cases (generally you will have three years from the moment you knew about the problem within which to make your claim), and therefore it is absolutely essential that you don’t delay. If you think you may have through claim, get in touch with our team today.

                Thinking of making a Bone Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim? Contact Us Now

                If you’re unsure whether or not you could make a claim for bone cancer misdiagnosis (or any other form of medical negligence), don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

                Our specialist solicitors are highly experienced in all forms of medical negligence and will be able to guide you through the whole process of making a claim. If you have any questions regarding bone cancer misdiagnosis, give us a ring today; we offer a FREE first phone call as well as a FREE initial consultation, either at our offices or at your home or hospital if you are unable to travel. We can offer you the best advice possible on your claim and inform you what your next steps should be regarding your bone cancer misdiagnosis.

                • Just call us now on 01722 422300

                • Or reach us via the enquiry form below for expert advice.

                  Eastern Europe has More Doctors than the UK

                  Medical unions have condemned figures released by the EU about the number of doctors per head of population as “extremely worrying”. The European Commission ranked EU member countries according to how many practising doctors they had per 1,000 citizens in 2010. In the table of 27 EU nations, the UK came in 24th place, with only Poland, Romania and Slovenia behind us. The European Commission statistics show that here in the UK there are 2.71 practising doctors per 1,000 people.

                  At the top of the list was Greece, with more than 6 doctors per 1,000 people closely followed by Austria with almost 5 per 1,000 and Italy with just under 4. Critics have attached the figures, claiming that they are concrete proof of a shortage of medical professionals in the UK.

                  The Health Select Committee warned as recently as last summer that only 20% of accident and emergency departments in England are adequately staffed with doctors of consultant level, and MPs concluded that many A&E departments are working under crisis conditions.

                  Despite the data showing that the UK ranks low in the table of doctors per person, this figure has actually been on the rise. In 2000, there were 1.9 doctors per 1,000 people in the UK and the average across the EU was 2.9. By 2010 the European average had grown to 3.4, and the rate of growth in the UK’s health service employment has risen more quickly than in other member states.

                  Although by 2011 the figures had increase a little more, giving a result of 2.8 doctors per 1,000 people, there are significant differences between the countries which make up the UK. Wales fares worst with 2.5 doctors per 1,000 and England and Wales have the same number of doctors at 2.7 per 1,000. Scotland skews the figures slightly, as there are 3.1 doctors per 1,000 people north of the border.

                  The Department of Health was quick to point out that the actual number of doctors working in the NHS has gone up by 3.5% every year for the past decade. Since the 2010 figures were published, there are 6,600 more doctors working in the NHS. In addition to employing more medical staff, the Department of Health spokesperson pointed out that during the same period, the number of admin and management staff had decreased by almost 23,000.

                  Victim of NHS Negligence? Contact us now

                  Strict time limitation periods apply to all types of medical negligence claims. So if you’re thinking of claiming compensation you deserve, get in touch with us without delay.

                  For FREE initial phone advice and a free first appointment with expert Medical Negligence Solicitors you can trust

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                    More Patients Waiting Over Six Weeks for Hospital Cancer Tests

                    According to new figures released by the government, twice as many people are waiting over six weeks for NHS hospital cancer tests than before the last election. The official limit set by the NHS for the length of wait for tests is six weeks, but figures show that in October 2013 there were 5,200 people still waiting past this six week figure compared with 2,500 people in the second half of 2009.

                    The government was quick to respond to these new figures, and suggested that the reason why people were having to wait longer was down to a larger number of people being referred to a hospital for testing in recent years.

                    There is a legal requirement for all NHS Trusts to keep records of how long it takes to give patients appointments for important diagnostic tests such as CT or MRI scanning, and tests for certain types of cancer. Over recent years, there has been a high degree of fluctuation in the numbers of patients waiting more than six weeks for the 15 categories of diagnostic testing which are covered by the statistics gathered by the NHS. Since October 2009, there has been a five-fold rise in the number of patients waiting more than 13 weeks, from 142 to 711.

                    The NHS Watchdog, Monitor, has flagged up issues such as the government restructuring of the Strategic Health Authorities, which they say “disrupted” the correct process of collecting waiting times figures. Another factor is that increasing pressure on A&E departments, resulting in a reduced number of beds, doctors and equipment to perform non-emergency tests in other parts of the hospital.

                    In response to these figures, a Department of Health spokesperson stated that in October 2013, 1.6 million tests were carried out by the NHS. This was up 4% compared with the number of tests carried out in the same period of 2012. The spokesperson also confirmed that action was being taken within the NHS to reduce waiting times as much as possible.

                    Victim of hospital cancer negligence? Contact us now

                    Strict time limitation periods apply to all types of medical negligence claims. So if you’re thinking of claiming the compensation you deserve, don’t delay getting in touch with us.

                    For FREE initial phone advice and a free first appointment with expert Medical Negligence Solicitors you can trust

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