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Posted on 17th July 2017

NHS Report Highlights Patients Dying Because of Poor Care

One in three (33%) of NHS patients who need emergency oxygen treatment are dying due to the poor standard of care given to them, an NHS inquiry has found.

The report shows staff and equipment shortages are adding to the poor standards. The National Confidentiality Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Data (NCEPOD) looked at the treatment given to the 50,000 patients who received the emergency Oxygen treatment each year. The enquiry highlighted major problems.

Some patients require non-invasive intervention (NIV) and are given oxygen via a face mask. The enquiry examined 353 patients and the “majority” of those patients received below standard care.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is the fifth biggest killer in the UK and an NIV is commonly used to treat these patients. COPD sufferers account for the second most common reason for admissions to hospital.

The report showed that treatment provided was often delayed or inappropriate and across the NHS, there was a “wide variation in the clinical care provided”. The report went on to say “supervision of care and patient monitoring were commonly inadequate. Case selection for NIV was often inappropriate and treatment frequently delayed due to a combination of service organisation and failure to recognise that NIV was needed”

Dr Mark Juniper, co-author of the report and NCEPOD’s lead clinical coordinator of medicine said “This is a major problem which is resulting in unnecessary loss of life. Four out of five patients didn’t receive care that we as doctors would be happy to receive. That is quite an indictment. That is shocking because all these patients are at risk if dying”

He continued “lack of ventilators is a common problem, even though a basic machine costs about £1000 to £2000. When there are too many patients, some end up receiving other medical treatment which is not as good as ventilation.”


When someone visits the hospital or their GP, they do so expecting to receive the best standard of care. In recent news pieces we have reported that the levels of training are inadequate and this leaves patients at a high risk. In this case it is reported that 33% of patients requiring oxygen treatment are dying due to poor care.

If you think that the level of care you were given was sub-standard and because of that care, you have suffered another injury, contact us on 0330 355 9210 or for a free claim assessment.