NHS England has ‘wasted’ £2.4m reviewing the handling of incidents that saw more than one million pieces of clinical correspondence be misdirected, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has said.
Until May 2015, when new arrangements were introduced, NHS Shared Business Services (SBS) was responsible for redirecting patient correspondence sent to the wrong GPs, but in March 2016 NHS England was notified that nearly half a million letters had not been processed, discovering new backlogs during the following months.
NHS England said that more than one million documents had to be reviewed in the wake of the incidents, discovering that in two cases patient harm could not be ‘ruled out’.
NHS England is said to still be reviewing approximately 2,000 cases, but MPs say they need ‘further assurance’ that the incident will be properly handled, asking to receive an update by November 2018.
Up to 10,000 items are still said to be mistakenly sent to Capita, provider of primary care support services, every month.
Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA Committee Chair, said the new PAC report was ‘another damning indictment of NHS England’s inability to deliver basic administrative efficiency in back-office systems’. He commented ‘if NHS England had managed the situation properly then it would not have needed to spend £2.4m resolving the issue, and this could have been money instead spent on patient services and practices struggling with unmanageable workloads and bureaucracy.’
Ally Taft, Partner (Solicitor) from Medical Accident Group said “The importance of ensuring that the sensitive and vital contents of clinical correspondence is properly managed cannot be underestimated. Any delay in ensuring that medical information is correctly transmitted can be devastating and has life-threatening consequence. Our concern that any miscommunication of clinical correspondence may lead to a delay in treatment or incorrect treatment being given is primary, however, we are also concerned that these errors are extremely costly to resolve and use vital funds that could be directed to prompt and efficient treatment for patients”
As an experienced local firm, we have managed to secure an award of compensation for many clients who have experienced negligent medical treatment. If you have suffered from poor treatment, Medical Accident Group can help. We have a team of dedicated clinical negligence solicitors, with over 30 years’ experience, who will guide you through the process of making a claim. If you believe you have a claim, call the team now on 0800 050 1668.