NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 14, 2009

A study by Britain's National Health Service shows up to one in 50 hospital patients requires additional treatment for problems caused by previous NHS care.

The 12-month study by the NHS Information Center found patients in England were treated for treatment complications on 326,000 occasions during a 12-month period:

  • In 68 percent of the cases, patients suffered a reaction after surgery or a medical procedure because problems had been missed, the Times of London reported Friday.
  • In 29 percent of cases, the patient suffered an adverse reaction to drugs and in 2 percent, there were "misadventures" during surgical or medical care.
  • In 1 percent, the patient was involved in an adverse incident relating to medical equipment.

The study only deals with serious complications that require re-hospitalization, a spokesman for NHS said.

"It is important to note that complications can occur as a result of a patient's physical reaction to treatment that was not able to be predicted, rather than arising due to any fault of the medical professionals involved," Tim Straughan, head of the NHS Information Center, said.

Source: Report, "Study shows problems caused by NHS care,", October 9, 2009; David Rose, "NHS Care Causes One In 50 Hospital Treatments," The Times, October 10, 2009.

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