Outdated technology leads to calls to “bring the NHS into the 21st century”

  • September 12, 2018
  • Background

    The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has outlined plans to update technology across the NHS. The Health Secretary will announce a £200mn fund to help NHS trusts enhance systems so patient records can be stored safely.

    In 2017, a ransomware attack resulted in “unprecedented” chaos. Experts confirmed several hundred thousand NHS computers were using old operating systems such as Windows XP. Current systems show a lack of uniformity with separate medical records kept for A&E departments, GPs and ambulance services. This has led to a delay in patients receiving treatment.

    A new NHS app will be trialled later this month allowing patients to book appointments, access medical records and record their organ donation choice.

    The difficulties with being able to obtain a full history of a patient’s treatment have been highlighted as a factor contributing to the death of 13 year old Tamara Mills from Newcastle in 2015. Tamara tragically died of a fatal asthma attack despite being seen by health professionals 47 times, and despite her records giving a clear picture of a deterioration and increased reliance on medication.

    Research has shown that Britain’s asthma rate is one of the worst in Europe with a 20 percent increase in deaths over the past five years. Asthma UK says their research shows 65 percent of people with the condition are not receiving the basic care they require such as yearly reviews and checks of inhaler use.

    In 2014 the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) reported that two thirds of deaths (and nearly all deaths in children) might have been prevented with proper care

    What our specialists have to say

    Charlotte Measures, Senior Associate from Medical Accident Group said: “I have been involved in asthma cases where children have died in a hospital setting and where there has been a failure to recognise a deterioration and escalate treatment in a timely manner. These are tragic cases for all concerned and I believe an improvement in technology can only help with early diagnosis and will also help clinical staff to act promptly to manage the risks, an issue the RCP highlighted in its report back in 2014.

    Charities like Asthma UK do a lot of excellent work in raising awareness and funding the cost of research into asthma but our poor record in terms of deaths from asthma in the UK demonstrates that there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of addressing issues, in particular with complacency amongst both sufferers and health professionals, that seem to accompany this condition.”

    As a highly experienced firm with expert teams based in Birmingham and Worcester, we have secured awards for many clients following negligent medical treatment. If you or a member of your family have suffered from poor medical treatment, Medical Accident Group can help. Our team of specialist medical negligence solicitors have over 30 years’ experience. We 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.

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