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MPs call for an NHS accident investigations unit

Posted in: Birth Injury Medical Negligence NHS Claims 

Following recent debate, MPs have called for the launch of a national medical accident investigations unit. Members of the House of Commons Public Administration select committee said that it was a much called for service due to the scale of problems currently being handled within the NHS.  The group of MPs described the current accident investigations system as “too complicated” and complained that it “took too long”.

Government ministers agreed that such a unit was required after the publication of the ‘Morecambe Bay hospital inquiry’, detailing the figures surrounding baby deaths. The report underlined the unnecessary deaths of 11 babies and 1 mother at Cumbria’s Furness General Hospital – a scandal that had been kept undercover for years as patients battled to expose the true goings-on.

340 ‘never events’ every year

The committee argued that findings such as these, and the recent Stafford Hospital scandal, exemplified the fact that there should be no further delays in the system. An estimated 12,000 avoidable hospital deaths happen every year within NHS England, including around 340 ‘never events’, such as incorrect surgery.

Committee chairman Bernard Jenkin said: “There needs to be investigative capacity so that facts and evidence can be established early, without the need to find blame, and regardless of whether a complaint has been raised.

Accident responsibility is currently shared between the Care Quality Commission and Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. Peter Walsh from Action Against Medical Accidents said that serious changes were “much needed”.

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