Interestingly, the reports are not easily found on the internet (visit the NHS website) and once found the content is minimal, so whilst it is claimed the NHS is being more open, this might not translate to a meaningful availability of information to patients.

The resource allows patients to compare hospitals in their local area on the basis of 7 factors, including infection control and cleanliness; meeting Care Quality Commission national standards; meeting staffing levels and open and honest reporting. But even if a patient manages to get to this website, all they will have to go on is ‘tick’ symbols, exclamation mark symbols or statements that the information is ‘not available’, which makes up about half of the data.

More detail about the level of reporting can be found on the NHS National Reporting and Learning System website but again it is not the most user-friendly resource.

The Health Secretary says “by publishing this data, we are sending a clear message that we want an open, honest reporting culture throughout the NHS where safety is at the front of everyone’s mind”. Mr Hunt says that 6,000 lives a year could be saved if hospitals were more serious about improving safety. This is a staggering number.

Our experience at Anthony Collins Solicitors is that many clients feel the hospital dismissed their concerns at the time then, when they feel they have no choice but to make a complaint, the NHS refused to accept anything went wrong. Many clients say that if the hospital had just apologised in the first place they would not have felt the need to bring a claim. The failure to report statistics in this report backs up our clients’ concerns.

At Anthony Collins Solicitors we aim to get answers for our clients and secure admissions of liability by the NHS that they did not do enough to care for their patient who put their trust in the system.

For more information

If you would like more information about this article, please contact Ann Houghton, Solicitor in the Clinical Negligence department on 0121 212 7478 or ann.houghton@anthonycollins.com.

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