Objectives Neurological practice has previously been highlighted like a high-risk speciality
October 12, 2017
Objectives Neurological practice has previously been highlighted like a high-risk speciality with regard to malpractice claims. statements were spinal pathology, cerebrovascular disease including subarachnoid haemorrhage, intracranial tumours, hydrocephalus and neuropathy/neuromuscular disease. Conclusions This is the 1st study of successful litigation statements against the NHS for negligent neurological or neurosurgical care and provides data to help reduce risk and improve individual 71555-25-4 safety. statements (including unsubstantiated ones) were examined in that study. Our analysis incorporates a further five years of data and focuses on statements to avoid the many frivolous statements which appear either incoherent or clearly do not involve malpractice. Our findings, like earlier American study5 but in contrast to McNeills study3, show that cerebrovascular disease accounts for a large number of litigation instances. Stroke is definitely a common 71555-25-4 neurological pathology and this apparent increase could relate to the increased general public awareness of stroke like a treatable condition. Over-representation of individuals with intracranial tumours (the third most common litigation group) may be explained from the insidious onset of symptoms and poor prognosis in many of these individuals. Overall, the number of successful litigation statements in our analysis was relatively moderate. When viewed in the context of annual NHS costs on damages and legal costs of 1 1.28 billion,6 the total litigation payment of 82,083,558 over 17 years was small. 38.9% of the total claims in our study were successful, which is high compared to 22% in a 71555-25-4 recent US study.4 Our analysis has several limitations. Firstly, we acknowledge that an unsuccessful claim does not preclude medical error since the legal definition of negligence requires that causation become proven. Second of all, the NHSLA database was designed primarily as a statements management tool rather than for risk management purposes; therefore, the accuracy and regularity of the data cannot be guaranteed. Thirdly, we have undoubtedly failed to capture all medical errors since many of these occur without subsequent problem or litigation. Neither have we taken into account out of court settlements or smaller statements made before 2002 (when the NHSLA dealt with only statements 71555-25-4 above a certain monetary value defined by individual NHS trusts). In summary, this is the 1st study of successful litigation statements against the NHS for negligent neurological or neurosurgical care and the study provides data to help reduce risk and improve patient safety. Declarations Competing interestsNone ALR declared FundingNone declared Honest approvalAll data acquired was anonymised and freely available to the public through a Freedom of Information request, consequently honest authorization 71555-25-4 was not required. GuarantorDPB ContributorshipTC structured and analysed the data, and published the 1st draft of the manuscript. DPB conceived the idea for the study, analysed the data, and revised the manuscript. AcknowledgementsData were provided by the NHSLA following a Freedom of Information request. We would like to say thanks to Ruth Symons (Risk Manager, NHSLA) for her assistance throughout the study. ProvenanceNot commissioned; peer-reviewed by Vejay Vakharia.