The NHS is nothing less than a behemoth of an organisation. The sheer scale and size of the operation required to provide healthcare, free at the point of use to every citizen in the United Kingdom are simply mind-boggling.
Every 36 hours, more than one million patients are treated through the various iterations of the NHS, be it an A&E department, a GP surgery, a drop-in centre or one of the other almost countless services.
Given these figures, it’s hardly surprising that sometimes things can go wrong. In fact, it would be impossible to deliver services on this scale without any errors occurring at all. When it comes to delivering and using the NHS, safety is of paramount importance but patient and staff safety concerns still exist.
What are the main patient and staff safety concerns within the NHS?
There are numerous patient and staff safety concerns when it comes to receiving and giving treatment within the NHS. Let’s first look at the main safety risks for patients.
- Mistakes by medical personnel – It’s a well-known fact that doctors, especially at the beginning of their careers, work long, punishing hours. Tired minds can make mistakes, miss certain symptoms or forget to ensure proper procedures are followed. On other occasions, a medical professional may just make an honest mistake due to inexperience or a misjudgement. This can be harrowing for the doctor involved, though undoubtedly much worse for the affected patient.
- Being left to wait – We’ve all heard horror stories of waiting times in overcrowded A&E departments, or of ambulances taking too long to reach patients in desperate need. When it comes to serious injuries, a matter of moments can be the difference between life and death. When it comes to the professional side of patient and staff safety concerns, accidents at work for NHS staff have the potential to be considerably more dangerous than most other occupations.
- Needle injuries – Needle-stick injuries can happen all too easily if needle and syringes are not disposed of safely and properly.
- Physical assaults – Whether it’s a fit, a violent reaction to treatment or an alcohol-fuelled rage, there are numerous physical threats to medical staff at work.
- Slips and falls – Medical spillages and bodily fluids are just two of the common slip hazards in hospitals.
Accident Advice Helpline
If you’re injured at work in a hospital or hurt because of medical negligence, call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from mobiles for injury compensation advice.
Date Published: February 21, 2017
Author: Accident Advice