This week in clinical negligence: 16.04.2018

Here are the main headlines that we’ve seen in the clinical negligence department this week. If you’ve been the victim of clinical negligence, or know someone who has, log on to www.claimtoday.com/negligence or call 08000 93 93 92.

GP visits to care homes reduce hospital admissions by nearly 40%

The Guardian reports that four nursing homes in east London piloted a scheme which involves the four nursing homes being allocated a GP. The GP visits the home each week.

The health thinktank the Nuffield Trust found that in the three years to 2017, the scheme resulted in a 36% reduction in emergency admissions to hospital, and emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%.

These reductions in admissions are valued at up to £1,000 per patient per year.

We understand that, following the success of the pilot scheme, preparations are under way to roll it out to all 39 nursing homes in three London boroughs, and that other CCGs have shown an interest in replicating the model.

Weight loss in patients over the age of 60 should be urgently investigated

According to The Telegraph, research by Oxford University found that losing weight can be a key symptom of cancer and that weight loss in patients over the age of 60 should be urgently investigated.

It reports that experts called on GPs to refer patients with unexplained weight loss for urgent tests, in a bid to speed up diagnosis.

They add that “Britain’s survival rates are lagging behind may comparative countries, with the UK falling in the bottom half of international league tables for seven major forms of the disease.

However, Dr Richard Roope, clinical lead for cancer at the Royal College of GPs, said: “Currently there are no clinical guidelines to support GPs and their teams in how to respond to or investigate patients who present with weight loss, without other symptoms, in the cancer setting.”

Private hospitals warned over surgeons

The BBC reports that, according to inspectors, some of the failings that allowed surgeon Ian Paterson to harm patients have been found to be widespread across private hospitals.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) looked at 206 private hospitals in what was the first comprehensive review of the sector and said it was concerned about the “old-fashioned” approach to consultants, which led to a lack of monitoring and checks.

In particular, it highlighted the lack of proper checks and monitoring of senior doctors, mainly surgeons, to ensure they were only undertaking treatments they were qualified to do or carrying them out in a safe way.

Dr Howard Freeman, of the NHS Partners Network, which represents private providers, said providing safe and high-quality care was a “top priority”.

With our Head of Clinical Negligence having acted for several ladies in their claims relating to surgery carried out by Mr Paterson, we believe this to be a key issue and something which we shall return to in future blogs.

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