An under-fire NHS trust is still using an "unfit for purpose" patient system 10 months after it was linked to a man's death.

The appointment system was branded "scandalous" by the Isle of Wight coroner at an inquest into the death of Isle of Wight man Thomas Higgins. The inquest found that failings in the system contributed to his accidental death at home in November 2015. During her investigations, coroner Caroline Sumeray, revealed a "system that was unfit for purpose" which was initially meant to be a temporary fix for six months which was still in use four years later. The coroner told the hearing: "It's an absolute scandal... Until it's rectified, everybody is at risk that is on the district nurse register”

In another case cited by the coroner, a visit was missed because the system was "inadequate to record appointments more than a week in advance". A nursing team leader, Jenni Edgington, told the hearing the database "collapsed frequently" and "changed data", because of its large size and wi-fi problems.

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust, which was recently placed in special measures following a damning report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), now says a new system will be in place by autumn 2017. CQC inspectors reportedly discovered "numerous incidents of patients being deleted, lost staff visits and even visits being given to staff for deceased patients". As recently as January 2017, the trust reported the spreadsheet was still losing about 10 patients a week, although a back-up folder was being used to detect errors.

David Hawkins, a Medical Negligence Lawyer, at Verisona Law said : ”This is another example of problems which go to the heart of our health service and so soon after similar problems were uncovered with NHS England losing 500,000 items of patient records, as well as the problems recently experienced by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust going into special measures. Our NHS does an incredible job for the millions of us who rely on them, but when things like this happen, it can knock people’s faith ”

If you, or a loved one, have been affected by medical negligence, please do not hesitate to contact our team of experienced lawyers who will be happy to speak to you about whether it may be possible to bring a claim.


David Hawkins joined Verisona Law from Slater & Gordon, as a Litigation Executive in the Historic Abuse Team in August 2016.

David has almost 20 years’ experience working in Personal Injury law. After working in the insurance sector for many years, firstly in general insurance, then moving to dealing with Personal Injury claims for the insurers, he decided to join the legal profession to uphold and pursue the rights of people who have been injured through no fault of their own.

After 13 years working for firms in West Sussex, acting for Claimants in a wide range of claims, from Road Traffic Accidents, Work Accidents to Clinical Negligence Claims, he has dealt with many complex, high value cases involving severe physical and psychological injuries. David has earned a reputation as a robust litigator, securing the best results for clients, whilst being approachable, explaining often complicated issues in plain English.

‘Verisona Law has a well-respected reputation and achieved a great deal of success in this developing area of law and I wanted to bring my expertise and experience to an impressively dynamic team,’ he says.

David is married with two young children..

Since 2003, David has acted for Claimants in Law Firms across Sussex, including 11 years at Bennett Griffin LLP in Worthing, where he worked with a small dedicated team of personal injury lawyers, dealing with complex high value claims.  David joins Verisona Law from Slater & Gordon, a large national firm, having wanted to get back to his roots of providing a quality, personal service.

David is an accredited Senior Litigator with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and has specialist legal experience in the following areas:

  • Child Abuse Claims
  • Personal Injury
  • Clinical Negligence
  • Professional Negligence & Liability
  • Litigation & Disputes

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