Mount Vernon Hospital in the London Borough of Hillingdon is within the constituency of Boris Johnson MP. The hospital is managed by the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust delivers services to residents across the borough, as well as extending into parts of Ealing, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Harrow. With a catchment population in excess of £300,000 and an increasing number of older people demanding services from Mount Vernon, the hospital is under increasing strain.
Consequently, with such demand and strains upon the system there are real risks of mistakes, errors and substandard care. Indeed, an article in the Guardian newspaper, in October 2019, concerning the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, identified a report stating old equipment and buildings, along with staffing problems, put quality of care for patients at risk. The newspaper also recorded that patients at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, who are acutely unwell or dying, receive substandard care due to inadequate medical expertise and facilities. This is a significant blow to one of the NHS’s specialist cancer hospitals.
How can I get help?
If you have suffered harm as a result of a mistake or error and would like to know if you may be entitled to medical negligence compensation, call 0333 123 9099, email email@example.com or use the enquiry form to request a call back.
Report from the Guardian
In an extract from the report, it is stated that “maintaining safety of patients cannot be guaranteed in the near future. Status quo is not an option. There is a need for urgent action. The current estate is not fit for purpose, particularly ward buildings for acutely unwell and end of life in patients”.
Use of words and phrases such as “dilapidated”, “critical” and “not fit for purpose” will worry patients, families and the local population alike. With retention and recruitment of staff at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre identified as being critical, patients are at significant risk of substandard care.
Over many years we have acted for patients and clients who have attended local hospitals. We have extensive local knowledge and experience of not only the services provided by these local hospitals but also the mistakes, errors and substandard care.
How do I make a Mount Vernon Hospital Medical Negligence Claim or Mount Vernon Cancer Centre Medical Negligence Claim
There may be a number of explanations as to why care is substandard, but if this results in harm to the patient, they may be entitled to financial compensation, medical negligence compensation, to reflect the harm they have suffered as a result of the poor quality of care received at Mount Vernon Hospital, or at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre. This includes cancer misdiagnosis.
If you would like to talk to an expert, a medical negligence lawyer, with no obligation, as to whether you or a family member may be entitled to compensation as a result of substandard care, call 0333 123 9099, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the enquiry form to request a call back.
We will ask you to provide some brief details and within a few minutes we are likely to be able to tell you if you have prospects of making a successful claim for medical negligence compensation.
Care Quality Commission (CQC) report-Mount Vernon Hospital
Significant concerns were raised in the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report in 2015. In their report, the inspectors described that overall, the hospital “requires improvement”. Indeed, they concluded that each of the four core services that were inspected at Mount Vernon Hospital were in need of improvement. This translates to meaning that the service isn’t performing as well as it should and that the CQC have told the hospital how it must improve.
Some of the key findings from the CQC report were:-
- two thirds of nursing staff on the elderly care ward were agency staff
- staff training records highlighted low compliance with some aspects of mandatory training, including safeguarding children and management of medicines
- the hospital were not sending letters to GP within five days, in accordance with their own procedures
- processes and systems did not ensure staff checked the child protection register
it is noteworthy that all the following areas were identified as “requires improvement”.
- Urgent and emergency services
- outpatients and diagnostic imaging
- medical care (including older people’s care)
Although in the areas of being “effective” and “caring” the services were described as good, meaning this service is performing well and meeting expectations, in the domains of “safe”, “responsive” and “well led”, the inspectors stated they “requires improvement”.
Care Quality Commission (CQC) report-Mount Vernon Cancer Centre (2018 Inspection)
It is, perhaps, not surprising that the report of 2019 is so damning against the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre when set against the background of the CQC inspection in April 2018. Some of the key findings from that inspection were:-
- the environment had not always been well maintained and there were areas of risks that had not been addressed by the service.
- urgent transfers out of the hospital were not reported on the trust wide incident reporting system. They were recorded in a diary, but this lacked detail
- there was no process in place to follow up patients, so the service was not updated on whether the patient’s cancer treatment had been maintained.
- there was limited completion of observation and fluid balance, especially for patients receiving intravenous therapy or fluid irrigation.
- inpatient nursing assessments were often incomplete
- standards of hand washing did not meet the infection control national guidance standards
- there were almost always long queues in the outpatients department for patients to be checked in
The inspectors identified the following areas in the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre as “requires improvement”.
- end-of-life care
- medical care (including older people’s care)
Care Quality Commission (CQC) report-Mount Vernon Cancer Centre (2019 Inspection)
This report, published in December 2019, was based on an inspection carried out between July and September 2019. The assessment, “overall”, was that the service (Mount Vernon Cancer Centre) "requires improvement".
"Requires improvement" means "the service isn't performing as well as it should and we have told the service how it must improve".
The inspectors reported that in the area of safety, the rating for the Cancer Centre had gone down. It requires improvement because the staff, during the period of inspection, did not always meet the infection prevention and control policy. The audits showed variable standards in relation to hand hygiene principles.
The inspectors noted gaps in the systems to minimise the risks to patients. For example, they identified no formal sepsis training for staff and an incident occurred when the Trust’s identification policy was not followed.
As regards to specific services in the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre it was reported that the chemotherapy and end-of-life care services required improvement. The same rating was applied to medical care (including old peoples care) and outpatients.
Clearly, much work needs to be done to improve the quality of patient care. In the meantime, if you have suffered harm due to medical error or medical mistake, contact IBB Solicitors for advice about your rights.
Do you deal with my medical negligence claim?
As indicated, we have acted for patients and clients across the region and therefore have extensive knowledge and experience of the services provided by these hospitals but also the mistakes, errors and substandard care.
We have experience in a range of medical negligence claims as illustrated by the list below. Therefore, we are well placed and locally placed to assist with concerns, complaints and claims for medical negligence compensation that may be justified to be pursued, against Mount Vernon Hospital and Mount Vernon Cancer Centre.
- Birth injury
- brain injury
- cancer misdiagnosis
- delayed treatment and surgical errors
- Eye injury
- medical equipment failures
- medical and prescription errors
Why ask IBB Claims Solicitors to act on your behalf?
We are accredited by the Law Society for Personal Injury Law reflecting our expertise in this area. IBB Claims’ partner Malcolm Underhill has particular expertise with all types of brain injuries, being accredited as a Brain Injury Specialist by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
Our team is recognised by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, the two leading client guides to the legal profession, for our exceptional skill in handling clinical negligence claims.
Legal 500 judges IBB as having a “good” clinical negligence department and “puts the client’s interests at the forefront of every decision.” Simon Pimlott has “a real eye for detail and works incredibly hard to get the best result for each client.” Simon has also been described by the publication as a “Rising Star”.
Chambers describes Malcolm as being a highly experienced personal injury practitioner with a strong focus on cases that involve brain injury. A client notes: "He is a very personable, sympathetic professional that has helped us as a family….."
A market source praises Malcolm’s "clear and empathetic understanding of the individual client and family situation." One impressed client adds: "Malcolm Underhill has been superb from the outset. He has in-depth knowledge gained from extensive experience, which is certainly advantageous."
Chambers and Partners also record that Simon Pimlott "communicates effectively and swiftly" and "works in a highly professional and client-focused way," according to commentators.
When should I make a Mount Vernon Hospital or Mount Vernon Cancer Centre medical negligence claim?
A patient has three years from the date of the error, mistake or substandard care, to bring a claim for compensation against either Mount Vernon Hospital or Mount Vernon Cancer Centre. However, it is sensible to bring a claim as soon as possible because with the passage of time an individual’s memory and recollection of treatment may fade. Although medical record should provide a detailed history and chronology of events, they will not contain every piece of detail, some which will be imprinted on a patient’s mind. Therefore, speaking to a solicitor promptly, recounting their clear experience of the treatment received, may be a key factor in determining whether they are likely to be able to make a successful medical negligence compensation claim.
In some cases substandard treatment may result in the early death of a patient. In those circumstances a claim should be made within three years of the death of that person although, again, we recommend action is taken earlier to improve the prospects of success. Indeed, in some situations, following a death in hospital and elsewhere, the coroner may be informed, which could result in an inquest. The purpose of the inquest will be to determine how the individual died, i.e. the circumstances surrounding their death. An inquest can often assist in establishing all the facts, to enable a medical negligence compensation claim to be made.
How do I make a Mount Vernon Hospital or Mount Vernon Cancer Centre medical negligence claim
If you would like to learn whether you may be entitled to medical negligence compensation, call 0333 123 9099, email email@example.com or use the enquiry form to request a call back.
We will listen to your experience at Mount Vernon Hospital or Mount Vernon Cancer Centre and advise you promptly, if you have reasonable prospects of making a successful claim for medical negligence compensation for the harm suffered.
Where is IBB claims?
Our offices are in Uxbridge and therefore well placed to meet you, to discuss how we can help you make a Mount Vernon Hospital medical negligence claim or Mount Vernon Cancer Centre cancer compensation claim.