Fewer hospitals would tackle medical negligence in NI

By Gillian Crotty

A review of the Northern Ireland health service has concluded that the healthcare given to patients would improve if there were fewer hospitals.

The report points out that elsewhere in the UK there are only 4 accute hospitals to deal with a population of 1.8million, where as Northern Ireland has 10 such hospitals. The review, led by Sir Liam Donaldson, suggests that medical expertise is spread too thin as a result of there being so many hospitals across Northern Ireland.

Ten suggestions are made to improve the standard of healthcare in Northern Ireland, including a redesign of some facilities by an international panel of experts. Sir Liam also suggests that people with long-term illnesses need to play a larger part in managing their conditions. He also believes that higher salaries should be paid to top managers to attract the "very best managerial talent" - pointing out that the wages are lower than anywhere else in the UK.

A number of incidents have kept the quality of care in Northern Ireland in the spotlight over the last year, starting with the major incident declared at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast in January 2014. Delays in treatment, missed targets on waiting times, and cancelled operations have also called into question the capacity of the Northern Ireland health system.

Delays in treatment can result in an illness getting worse, reduce treatment options, and the effectiveness of any treatment applied.

If you have suffered injury or loss as a result of medical negligence and want to speak to a solicitor in Northern Ireland about your compensation options, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9289.