This study implies a clear correlation between staffing levels and cases of medical negligence. If introducing more qualified staff to wards is the answer to reducing levels of medical negligence then this needs to be done without delay.
(PRWEB UK) 28 February 2014
Medical Negligence Solicitor Fiona Hedges, of national firm Mercury Legal Online, has warned that action must be taken to protect patients after a major study established a link between nursing cutbacks and higher patient death rates in hospitals. (i)
The study, led by Professor Linda Aiken, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, looked at statistics from 300 hospitals across Europe, analysing data on over 420,000 patients, aged 50 years or older. (i)
Researchers found that if a nurses’ workload is increased by one extra patient, the likelihood of death within 30 days of admission rises by 7%. However, every 10% increase in nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree decreases this likelihood by 7%, implying that patients admitted to hospitals where 60% of nurses have bachelor’s degrees and nurses caring for an average six patients would have nearly a 30% lower mortality rate. This is compared to patients admitted to hospitals where only 30% of nurses had bachelor’s degree and nurses looked after an average eight patients. (i)
Researchers confirmed that the findings mirrored closely trends seen in the US. (ii)
Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said the findings support the UK’s decision to make university degrees mandatory in the nursing profession. (ii)
Fiona Hedges, Head of Medical Negligence at Mercury Legal, said: “Working with medical negligence victims every day I see first-hand the severity of cases and the impact they have on both the victims and their loved ones.
“This study implies a clear correlation between staffing levels and cases of medical negligence. If introducing more qualified staff to wards is the answer to reducing levels of medical negligence then this needs to be done without delay.
“Patient safety must be the clear priority for hospitals at all times. This study implies that patients are being put in unnecessary danger when staff rates are low but this can be rectified with the introduction of higher levels of qualified nursing staff.”
Mercury Legal Online is a group of personal injury solicitors specialising in clinical and hospital negligence cases.
(i) The Lancet, Nurse staffing and education and hospital mortality in nine European countries: a retrospective observational study, 26th February 2014, http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2813%2962631-8/abstract
(ii) The Guardian, 26th February 2014, Nurse cutbacks ‘linked to death rates’, study finds: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/26/nurse-cutbacks-death-rates-data-staffing
About Mercury Legal Online:
Mercury Legal Online is a trusted group of specialist personal injury solicitors in the UK. Mercury Legal Online is administered and run by Gallium Legal LLP and is regulated by the Ministry of Justice. The firm specialises in assisting victims of clinical negligence.
About Fiona Hedges:
Fiona Hedges is a Solicitor who specialises in Clinical and Hospital Negligence claims. Fiona has settled claims relating to hospital errors and negligent doctors and has also helped many victims of negligent cosmetic surgery procedures.