SUFFERERS ofIATROGENIC NEGLECT
- SIN was set up
in Nov. 1998 as a pressure and support group for victims of poor medical
care and their relatives who wish to improve standards in the NHS.
- We accept that mistakes will
happen but the trauma really starts when medical mistakes are denied, documents
disappear or are apparently modified and a cover-up begins.
- Often patients and their families
are subjected to a character assassination if the complaint is serious and
- In March, 1999, a Panorama
programme on the gynaecologist, Richard Neale, exposed the awful truth that
there is very little quality control in the British Medical Profession, and
a blind eye is turned towards incompetent and malpractising doctors.
- This programme highlighted
how ineffective and casual were the safeguards employed by the Trusts, Health
Authorities and the GMC to investigate doctors who could put patients at
- Most people cannot afford to
go to law, and try to use the NHS Complaints System, which should in theory,
be able to expose medical negligence / professional misconduct etc.
- In practice, the Executives
of Trust Hospitals, Health Authorities, or indeed the Regional Health Authorities,
never investigate a complaint thoroughly, impartially or accurately.
- Those who try to go through
the NHS Complaints Procedure (including the Health Service Ombudsman's Office)
get nowhere for they eventually find, after exhausting themselves by letter
writing and attempting to use the system, that it is all a farce. [SIN's critique:"The Emperor Has No
- The burden of exposing incompetent
/malpractising doctors should not fall on ill patients and their families:
this is the responsibility of management.
- The government now accepts
that a culture of cover up exists. Such a culture is bad for patients and
bad for doctors. We desperately need more doctors with the courage and integrity
of Stephen Bolsin.
- When patients, on legal aid,
attempt to exercise their rights by going to law to sue for justifiable compensation,
the way is obstructed because the medical profession closes ranks making
it almost impossible to obtain a medical expert
- This "closing of ranks" is
a euphemism for collusion and British doctors seem to have a stronger allegiance
to colleagues, who may be incompetent, than a duty of care to the innocent
and trusting patient.
- Many patients are isolated
and in trauma and often find that they have been victimised because they
have dared to complain. Iatrogenic patients are "hot potatoes", many finding
they can no longer obtain specialist medical care having discovered that
the care received had been substandard.
- Something has gone badly wrong
with the British Medical Profession when, in a civilised democracy, vulnerable
patients and their relatives have to fight for honesty and good quality health
care. It is because of this unacceptable state of affairs that the support
group SIN came into being
that iatrogenic patients should form a united front and so ensure
that the voice of the mistreated patient is heard. If people of good will
can work together, perhaps a real culture change could be achieved which
would be of mutual benefit to both doctor and patient. A new approach to
iatrogenically damaged patients is imperative to ensure that the basic
human right to adequate health care is upheld. (Article 25 Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, UN, 10/12/48). © July 1999.
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's Objectives and membership details either:
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