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To think that medical staff 'losing' notes in cases of medical negligence should be punished in some way?

(6 Posts)
foxinsocks Tue 07-Jun-11 13:31:37

Can only find online link to the Daily Mail but this isn't the first time this has happened and I recall a similar case a few months ago (though can't find it).

coroner blasts medical staff

I had this too with something that happened to me. When I went to lodge a complaint, i was told it would get nowhere because when they went to look at the medical records, they had been 'misplaced'. Mine wasn't even a serious issue.

I wish I could find the other story (also related to a birth and I think the mother dying and midwives/nurses/doctors mysteriously misplacing the evidence).

Surely we can't have a health system where this is allowed to happen? I would love to know if these people are losing the evidence themselves or being encouraged to by their health trusts because of the fear of payouts for negligence.

Happymm Tue 07-Jun-11 13:47:08

I'm not sure that notes actually get lost on purpose. If you consider how many patients hospitals have coming through the doors and that they have to keep notes for 7yrs, that's an awful lot of notes, that not only are stored, but travel round the hospital to wards, xray, outpatient clinics, phlebotomists etc. To say they do it on purpose is a wrong I think as TBH in the case of malpractice, all hospitals carry insurance and IMO and experience would approach things as an opportunity to improve matters.

foxinsocks Tue 07-Jun-11 13:49:03

but it just seems so convenient Happy. Things go wrong and whoops, the notes disappear.

Of course, it would be very hard to prove it happened deliberately but I can't help but think this just seems to happen more often than it should.

sprinkles77 Tue 07-Jun-11 13:49:40

I work in healthcare. I have always been told "no notes, no defense" by my indemnity organisation. i.e. if someone were to make a complaint against me, my indemnity providers would not be able to defend me if I had no records. In that case the person complaining would probably have their case upheld, and a payout more likely.

foxinsocks Tue 07-Jun-11 13:54:10

but if you knew you were guilty and with hindsight, your decisions were negligent and had resulted in something going horribly wrong and this could be proved from the notes, surely it is far better for you that they disappear?

in my (very minor compared to the other stories) complaint, I knew I was right and I knew they were totally in the wrong. If I had had those notes, it would have stood up definitely. Because the notes couldn't be produced, that was the end of it.

PigletJohn Tue 07-Jun-11 13:55:31

Nuclear Submarine HMS Conqueror's Captain's log got lost when there was a bit of fuss.

Funny that.

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