Published on 09/12/2011
A new report has highlighted that as many as 100,000 high-risk patients undergoing surgery in NHS hospitals each year get sub-standard care.
High-risk patients are receiving substandard aftercare
The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD), a charity which reviews medical and clinical practise, analysed data from more than 19,000 patients in 300 British hospitals, and reviewed the cases of 829 high-risk patients.
It found that too many patients are being sent back to general wards after surgery rather than being looked after in critical care, increasing their risk of death.
79 per cent of all the deaths recorded in the study were high-risk patients. Of the 165 high-risk patients who died, 80 were never admitted to critical care. Where experts judged that the patients were wrongly denied critical care beds the death rate was 3 times higher.
As well as receiving sub-standard aftercare, NHS patients are also being denied decent pre-op checks. The report showed that of high-risk patients who had elective procedures, 22 per cent did not attend a pre-assessment clinic.
Co-author Dr George Findlay, of the NCEPOD Clinical Coordinator and Intensive Care Consultant, said: "There appears to be a serious lack of awareness of the degree of mortality risk to patients, and we have to ask if the Health Service really does appreciate the level of risk that surgical patients face?
"If we don't identify the risks to patients, then how can we provide the best pre and postoperative care?"
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© ActiveQuote Health Ltd. 2011Categories: NHS and Hospitals