How Honest is Your Hospital?

Do you expect hospitals to be honest and up-front with you?  You might think that if something went wrong with your treatment when you were a patient then the hospital would tell you the truth.  The reality is that these mistakes are often ignored and patients left in the dark about what happened.

Although thankfully many people have a good experience in hospital, as many as a million patient safety incidents occur every year.  These mistakes can result in long-term disability or even death, but despite this only 6000 claims were reported in 2010.  It seems that many people who have had poor treatment are not claiming the compensation they could.  Patients are often simply not told the full facts about what has gone on in their care, even if they make a formal complaint

After a long-running campaign to require hospitals to tell patients when there have been mistakes in their care, the government is finally starting to listen. The NHS is to be required to be more open and honest when things go wrong – but this is still a limited duty which is going to be very difficult to enforce.  It surely would be better for everyone if this “culture of denial” really changed – if hospitals were prepared to say sorry to patients when things have gone wrong and lessons learned from this to improve the quality of patient care for us all.