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Patients face Wall of Silence when complaining to NHS

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It’s never easy considering taking action after failed medical treatment, but a recent report says patients are often met with ‘a wall of silence’ when they complain.

Medical Negligence expert, Janet Dunkerley is the first point of contact when clients considering taking legal action get in touch with Pearson Solicitors.

“Often people want answers to what has gone wrong, they may have tried to deal with the hospital themselves but tell me they often feel ignored,” said Janet.

“Complaint and compensation is a long road to travel and not always an easy one, but we aim to handle each case with compassion and sensitivity. The best way to improve care is to listen to what patients and their families have to say and learn from past experiences to hopefully prevent mistakes in the future.”

The damning report said some relatives are left not even knowing why a loved one has died.  The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, have made recommendations to the Independent Patient Safety Investigation Service, which launches in April and called for better organisation, a consistent standard of investigations and pressure for staff to be ‘open and honest’.

It said internal probes in English hospitals were not ‘consistent, reliable or transparent’.

Hospitals classed only 29% of avoidable cases as serious incidents, meaning that these were not properly investigated, 19% of investigations were missing crucial evidence, such as records, statements or interviews.

The Ombudsman has investigated 536 cases this year of potentially avoidable deaths and upheld around half of complaints, a total of 264.

Highlighted are the case of a baby girl left with permanent brain damage due to errors with a blood transfusion. Her parents had to wait three years to find out what happened to her.

In another case a man of just 36 died when doctors failed to spot his heart condition. The hospital repeatedly failed to give his parents answers as to what went wrong.

Janet said “These delays are distressing, frustrating and totally unacceptable.  It is hoped that the recommendations that have been made will guarantee hospitals improve thereby ensuring a better quality of care so that families get the answers and closure they need and deserve in a timely manner.”

For advice on your medical negligence claim call Janet on 0161 785 3500 or email


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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