NHS hospital trusts failure to send thousands of letters

John Bennett
John Bennett

Published: October 3rd, 2023

7 min read

The Times Newspaper reports a "Second hospital trust says it failed to send thousands of letters."

It goes on to report 23,000 letters concerning risks to patients or actions to be taken by patients and GPs were not sent by the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust over several years.

The documents were part of 411,000 that were left "unauthorised" or unissued on a computer system in 2017, including thousands more that should have been sent.

Thankfully the article goes on to say they were later deemed to be of no risk to patient safety.

Unfortunately, this does occur in other trusts. Over the years of conducting Clinical negligence claims we have come across this situation on many occasions, with patients being lost to follow up. A patient attends for tests. They often assume "no news is good news". Most of the time it is, but occasionally it isn't. This can be particularly important in cancer cases where something is identified on a scan or during tests. The patient isn't suffering from any symptoms and assumes all is well. It is not until symptoms appear that they then return to the NHS, only to be told, on a review of the records, something had shown up but now it is too late. The condition has progressed, and the outcome is much worse.

Whilst the delay may not have caused the condition in the first place, the delay can have a significant impact in an aggressive condition.

The moral is don't assume "no news is good news". Follow up tests results.

If you, a loved one, or a friend find yourself in a position where you have been lost to follow up and the delay has made your condition worse, and would like some advice, please contact one of the team for some no win, no fee, no obligation advice.

We accept cases on a no win no fee basis, backed by an After the Event Insurance policy, when required. If the claim involves a child, we do not charge a success fee.

Forbes Solicitors have an experienced Clinical Negligence Team dealing with all aspects of Clinical Negligence claims For further information relating to any of the issues raised in this article, please contact one of the team on 01254 872111. You can also contact the team via the Contact form.

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