Apart from visits to the Accident & Emergency department, hospital treatment in England is generally arranged through your GP, Dentist or Optician who will refer you to a consultant. As a patient you have a choice regarding which hospital you are referred to.

General hospitals offer a wide range of services – a list too lengthy for here. However, every hospital publishes a list of their services and the list for Colchester General Hospital, for example, can be viewed by visiting http://www.colchesterhospital.nhs.uk/patient_services.shtml

Because of the wide range of services offered and the numbers of patients treated in hospitals every year there are many things that can and unfortunately, on occasion, do go wrong. 

National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS): All acute / general hospital services in England are required to report all adverse incidents to the NRLS on a monthly basis. In the year to March 2014 the combined Hospital Trusts in England reported a total of 1,085,100 incidents, 4,532 of which were classified as causing severe harm and 1,421 of which resulted in death.

When a patient dies in hospital and their death is related to an adverse incident an Inquest into the patient’s death will usually be opened by H M Coroner. The TSP Clinical Negligence team can offer help to families in this situation.