On 17 February 2015 Hugh Johnson was a speaker at the GovToday 2015 Social Care Conference. GovToday promote views from across all fields of government through various events and, in particular, are active in promoting Heath and Social Care reform. Ongoing review of clinical practice in both the hospital and social care settings is hugely important if future clinical accidents are to be avoided.
Hugh lectured together with Professor Richard White of the University of Worcester on Pressure Ulcers. Together, they addressed issues of prevention, risks and the financial costs of pressure ulcers from both the medical and legal perspectives. As specialists in catastrophic injury, a significant number of our clients go on to develop pressure ulcers during their hospital treatment. These injuries are important, frequently delaying rehabilitation treatment and often permanently increasing the level of care needs required on a permanent basis.
In many cases that skin injury is wholly preventable. Clinical estimates are that between 80-90% of these types of injury are preventable. In the most serious cases, patients can go on to suffer long term or permanent complications. The medical costs of pressure Ulcers were estimated in 2004 to be between £1.4 – £2.1 billion to the NHS. With the onus on prevention, rather than treatment, Hugh explained to the audience that not only are these medical costs generally avoidable, but pressure ulcer injuries can, if properly evidenced, lead to significant damages awards. Whereas pressure ulcer injuries have often been regarded “modest injuries” with damages at that level, settlements have been achieved from £100,000 to £2.9 million.
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