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Posted on 29th January 2018

Communication Error Causes Patient Death

A woman has died unnecessarily after a lack of communication between her GP and her local hospital. She was admitted to Accident and Emergency at Boston Pilgrim Hospital after she complained of ulcers and sore legs. Previously prescribed the blood-thinning drug, Warfarin, the medical staff chose to change her medication as her blood was taking too long to clot.

The woman then visited her GP the next day. However, the treatment, changes to medication and details of her condition were not passed on from the hospital to the GP surgery. As a result, her condition worsened and led to her death one week after her admission to hospital.

One month after the patient died, the GP surgery received a letter from the hospital to detail her condition and the changes. Sadly, the fact that it took this long for the information to arrive by post meant the GP failed to prevent her untimely death.

After being referred to the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trusts for an inquest, a coroner ruled that the patient’s life could have been extended if the organisation took the right action. In a digital age, there should have been no reason why an email could have been sent immediately to the GP surgery to enable more appropriate medication to be given.

From events such as this occurring, NHS Improvement says they are looking at creating electronic patient records and referrals, but until this is effective and in place, many lives are at risk from the lack of communication.

Negligence Claimline says:

Medical professionals at GP surgeries and hospitals have a duty of care to all of their patients. If patients have received incorrect treatment, care, medication or advice, then this could be grounds to make a clinical negligence claim. If a lack of communication has led to a deterioration of a condition or fatality, then it could be your right to claim for you or your loved ones.

If you have concerns that lack of communication has led to a medical blunder, then this may be your opportunity to claim compensation. If you would like free advice about your case, then speak to the experts at Negligence Claimline by getting in touch by phone, 0330 355 9210, or email, claims@negligenceclaimline.co.uk.