Menu & Search
           1904556600
Speak to our friendly team
Contact Us Now

12 patient deaths have been linked with safety concerns about NHS Pathways, the clinical software used to triage patients calls to the NHS 111 and 999 services.

Two cases include children who died from intestinal problems which were not quickly identified.

An investigation by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) revealed that coroners have issued reports calling on the NHS and Department of Health and Social Care, to take action to prevent future fatalities.

The helpline uses the NHS Pathways algorithm to “assess, triage and direct the public to urgent and emergency care services”.

However, reports have warned that NHS Pathways’ algorithms were not precise enough to elicit vital information about several life-threatening health conditions.

Most recently, a dad has blamed the program for the death of his teenage son. His son, 17 years old, should have been sent to a GP within two hours of calling with severe stomach pain but was advised to contact his GP practice within six hours.

The 17-year-old was suffering from a condition that caused multi-organ failure, and he passed away after three weeks in intensive care. The Coroner who investigated his death has since issued a prevention of future deaths letter to NHS England, NHS 111 and NHS Digital which provides the computer programme.

In 2015, the death of a six-year-old boy was linked to the same controversial system after NHS 111 call handlers missed a number of “red flags”. His dad was unable to get hold of a doctor for six hours before his son passed away. He repeatedly called NHS 111 but call handlers failed to recognise that the boy’s condition was life-threatening.

A similar case occurred in 2014 when a two-year-old boy died from an acute bacterial infection after the seriousness of his condition was not picked up by NHS 111 call handlers. This led to delays in him attending A&E.

The deaths of two women aged 37 and 67 in January 2015 were found to have been affected by NHS 111 advisors failing to identify the deadly condition.

HSJ said at least three different ambulance trusts had previously raised concerns with the national NHS Pathways team about the software failing to advise call handlers to identify agonal breathing.

A spokesman for NHS England, which has overall responsibility for the system, said: “The assessment systems are regularly reviewed by clinical experts to ensure that they classify a patient’s needs as accurately as possible, based on the answers given by the person making the call, and therefore give them the right response or advice.

“NHS 111 services deal with over 16 million calls every year, and while incidents like these are therefore extremely rare, where concerns are raised they are clinically investigated and any necessary changes made – building on the NHS’ reputation as one of the safest health systems in the world.”

Angus Buchanan, a Clinical Negligence solicitor at Pryers commented “Early diagnosis is often critical to a patient’s recovery. The NHS is a system which works on the limits of its resources so they must introduce technology that delivers a service more cost effectively, but they must be robust and thorough. If there is ever any risk to the patient those issues need to be resolved immediately.”

Start Your Claim Today1904556600
Tell us about your case

Just send us a little bit about yourself and your claim and we will respond within 24 hours.

    Get In Touch
    Latest News

    Victims can still sue Ian Paterson

    Ian Patterson jailed In 2017, breast Surgeon, Ian Paterson was jailed for wounding with intent. He had treated thousands of patients in his 14-year […]

    Read More

    Updates to the Civil Procedure Rules – April 2021

    Updates to the Civil Procedure Rules will come into effect on 6 April 2021. In this article, Jonathan Gray highlights some of the key […]

    Read More

    Vulnerable Parties and Witnesses – CPR Update April 2021

    On 6 April 2021 an update to the Civil Procedure Rules will help vulnerable parties and witnesses to navigate litigation. The new rules acknowledge […]

    Read More

    Take a look back through our complete news archive

    Follow us on Twitter

    Being injured by a defective medical product is rare, making it all the more difficult to know what you need to do.

    One of our specialist solicitors Tamlin Bolton, has prepared a guide in case you ever find yourself in this unfortunate position.

    https://bit.ly/2qP3fBr

    Return to crowded A&Es and long ambulance delays will put patients at risk, warn experts https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-emergency-hospital-ambulance-delays-b1830061.html?utm_content=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1618266495

    Load More...