A leading local lawyer has slammed a two-year wait to introduce simple preventative guidelines that could prevent the death of thousands of people from blood clots.
A report by MPs suggests that 25,000 are killed each year in hospitals after getting dangerous clots called venous thromboembolisms - which include deep vein thromboses.
No national guidelines are currently in place regarding the prevention of such deaths and they will not come into being until 2007.
That is when NICE, the Government's National Institute for Clinical Excellence, is expected to provide them.
But Jeanette Whyman, the head of the clinical negligence department at 200-strong Leamington law firm Wright Hassall, believes the guidelines should be introduced now. She believes they could help hospitals prevent countless negligence claims.
She said: "Blood clots can occur when a patient is immobile for any reason, for example following surgery.
" To introduce a risk assessment on patients on admission to hospital would identify those who are high risk. They could be appropriately treated with blood thinning drugs, exercises and compression stockings.
"It is shocking to think that deaths are occurring which could easily be prevented. I have dealt with legal cases where this lack of foresight and lack of any national regulation has resulted in a sad loss for families."