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Viewpoints Don't sue, ask for incident to be logged.

I am writing with regard to a recent letter where a reader asked if she should sue the NHS for complications following her hospital care.

My sister was discharged from the University Hospital of Wales following a miscarriage.

Whilst at the hospital, she was the victim of several errors, eg they forgot to feed her; several dirty bedpans were left in her room uncollected; there was no soap or hand gel in the dispensers; the room was filthy.

The following day they discharged her.

She couldn't get her breath and looked awful so I took her back to the ward and insisted she had a blood test.

It showed she was severely anaemic and if the staff had paid more attention, they would have realised this.

Incidentally she also suffered an earlier miscarriage at a London hospital and the care she received was fantastic.

As I worked at UHW and know a little about how the system works, we insisted on seeing the ward sister, made a formal complaint and asked for an incident report to be logged.

When incident reports are collected, any serious problems occurring in the hospital are brought to the attention of management, and they are obliged to address them.

They can also be used as evidence that extra finance/resources are needed to avoid similar mistakes being made.

I suggest that in the majority of cases, the completion of an incident report is of more use than suing a hospital, so that vital resources can be targeted at solving the problem (and ensuring the same mistake does not happen to someone else), rather than lining our own pockets with money that the NHS so desperately needs.

Stephanie Wilkins Ty Mawr Road, Llandaff North, Cardiff
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 8, 2006
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