The NHS has wasted nearly two and a half million pounds reviewing the handling of misdirected clinical correspondence. Previously we reported that NHS Shared Business Service mishandled sensitive clinical correspondence about patients. However, this time it was NHS England that was far too slow to treat the issue seriously and take action. As a result, the problem got worse and remedial action for patients was delayed. Over the two incidents, one million pieces of clinical correspondence have not been handled appropriately. NHS England is still assessing nearly 2,000 cases to determine whether there has been harm to patients and has so far identified two incidents where expert consultant review has concluded that patient harm cannot be ruled out. In view of the record of failings and number of unresolved cases, we will need further assurance that NHS England has finally got a grip of the problem when it reports back to us later this year.
Published: 6 June 2018