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A&E Crisis could lead to medical errors, warns Oldham Solicitors

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Hospitals in Greater Manchester have failed to meet A&E waiting targets over the Christmas period and solicitors at Oldham’s leading medical negligence solicitors are concerned that this increased pressure on medical staff could lead to errors in treatment.

"Recent media coverage has highlighted increasing delays in Accident and Emergency Departments due to the number of people seeking medical attention during the winter months with hospitals in Oldham and Tameside affected,” said Medical Negligence Solicitor, Kenneth Lees.

"In the last week hospitals in Staffordshire, Gloucestershire and London have declared ‘major incidents’ due to their inability to cope with the numbers involved.  Whilst most people would expect to wait when they visit their local Accident and Emergency Department for treatment, the recent developments means that medical staff are under increased pressure. Unfortunately this may lead to a greater incidence of clinical errors and misdiagnoses. It is when such incidences occur that people understandably feel the need to seek legal advice,” he added.

Some of the A&E negligence cases Pearson Solicitors have dealt with recently include: missed or late diagnosis, failure to refer, inadequate treatment, missed fractures, missed foreign bodies in wounds or inadequate cleaning and inappropriate discharge, all of which could be compounded by sheer volume of patients and a stretched system.

Around one in ten patients waited more than four hours at the region’s hospitals in the week ending December 28.

The Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust, which runs hospitals in North Manchester, Bury, Oldham and Rochdale, has failed to hit the target for eight weeks and Tameside has also dipped below the target in recent weeks.

The British Medical Association (BMA), which represents doctors, said the NHS was “struggling to cope with the sheer number of patients coming through the door”.

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Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

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