Almost one in two patients reports mistakes or near mistakes with their treatment at hospitals, nursing homes or by their family doctor, according to research by patients’ lobby group NPCF.
The lobby group bases its claims on a survey of 10,000 patients. Many of the cases involved patients being given the wrong medicine or a faulty diagnosis.
Almost half of the patients who reported a near-miss said it had been prevented because they themselves had realised that something was wrong. Doctors should make more use of patients’ own instincts and ‘ears and eyes’, NPCF director Diandra Veldman said in a statement.
The research is based purely on patient experiences but Veldman said other reports have had similar findings. ‘Every year, 1,000 people die because of medical errors and 25,000 are injured in some way because of a mistake,’ Veldman said.
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