Clinical negligence compensation claims are unfortunately made every day as a result of medical professionals failing to carry out their duty of care owed to their patients. Medical professionals are required to uphold a duty of care meaning every possible measure has to be taken to ensure the safety of patients during any procedures that are carried out.
When we undergo medical care we put our trust in the medical professionals, treating us. Whilst every operation does not always meet with success which is not the fault of the medical professional, there are unfortunately certain circumstances when problems could have been avoided.
The people responsible for your after-care are also obligated to provide you with a duty of care, meaning that a pharmacist, dentist, clinician, or nurse must take all reasonable efforts for ensuring your safety and well-being while you are in their care.
Clinical negligence or also known as medical negligence can severely affect not only the patient but also their families.
Making a complaint for clinical negligence
You may feel that following an operation, during pregnancy and childbirth or undergoing medical treatment that the level of care fell below a satisfactory level to a point where unnecessary injury or harm was caused.
Should this be the case and the National Health Service (NHS) or private medical centre’s complaints procedure has not been able to correct the mistake then a clinical negligence compensation claim may be available to you.
The NHS complaints procedure is available to all patients treated within NHS facilities, however a time limitation is enforced so please remember to familiarise yourself with the NHS guidelines for making a complaint.
The relevant information can be found on the NHS website. If you’re looking to claim from a private healthcare provider then it will be worthwhile checking their website for information on their respective complaints procedure.
Whilst they may differ to some extent, the law remains the same for both, and so neither one is more or less likely to be worth pursuing for compensation.
As a general rule it would be wise to file a complaint as soon as you become aware a mistake has occurred to ensure the NHS is aware of the problem for referencing the incident later on.
Recording the incident at the earliest opportunity will also mean that the facts will be fresh in your memory. A clear and complete account of the incident will bode well for anyone claiming compensation, so file your complaint as soon as possible.
In the event the complaints procedure fails to provide you with a satisfactory outcome then please ensure you make your claim as soon as possible, for the same reasons as mentioned above.
Claims for Clinical negligence do not only focus on the errors made within hospitals. Mistakes can be made by general practitioners, ambulance services, home care nursing services and dentists.
The point is none of us are flawless, and so mistakes are bound to take place in certain circumstances.
The difference is though if a mistake caused injury and was in fact the result of someone else’s negligence then regardless of whether it’s a public or private hospital, dental surgery, or some other medical facility, you were owed a duty of care that your healthcare provider failed to maintain.
There are quite a number of people who unfortunately feel they have suffered as a result of clinical negligence, whether or not the effects of this are serious or minor.
In fact, the NHSLA states that between 2011 and 2012 there was an increase of 5.6% in the number of new claims involving the National Health Service.
Due to the difficult nature of clinical negligence compensation claims our specialist solicitors will be able to handle your claim from start to finish at no cost to you. Please contact us today and let us know your circumstances. We will be able to give you free legal advise and let you know if you would be able to pursue a claim for clinical negligence.
Typical clinical negligence compensation claims brought against hospitals and GP’s
Typical claims can include wrongful diagnosis, late diagnosis, mistakes made during surgical procedures, patients contracting illnesses and diseases from medical facilities and personnel, and in some cases neglect.
The media often report on incidents of clinical negligence, with hospitals failing to meet acceptable standards of care, or doctors and nurses being overworked for low pay, leading to mistakes being made and multiple patients suffering as a result of it.
Many symptoms and conditions are difficult to diagnose, however if the symptoms are clear and there has been a breach of duty, there may be justification to claim damages for clinical negligence, depending on the effects and causation of the error.
- Failing to diagnose – The most frequent cases unfortunately is failure to diagnose Cancer, therefore causing more distress, suffering, anxiety and pain to the patient.
- Delay in diagnosis – Similar to failing to diagnose or provide treatment promptly therefore causing unnecessary pain and suffering.
- Childbirth – Injuries caused to either the baby or mother during delivery that could have been avoided if certain procedures had been carried out properly. The cause of Cerebral Palsy or other conditions caused by the unnecessary force used in instrumental delivery.
- Undetected fractures– Fractures to bones that are undetected by a Doctor but clearly visible on a scan.
- Surgical errors – failed operations, where negligence has occurred therefore requiring further surgery.
- Post Operative Infections – Failings in after care.
- Neglect – remarkably recent reports have shown situations where which patients on hospital wards are being left unwashed and in their own waste, underfed and unchecked for long periods of time, ultimately suffering with bedsores because nurses are failing to provide adequate care.
- Contracting Super-bugs – C. Diff, MRSA, VRE, and CRE are but a few common infections often associated with hospital wards. Unfortunately it isn’t at all rare for super-bugs to be lethal for patients, and in most circumstances the spreading of super-bugs can be prevented with simple hygiene.
In the event you have you any concerns or fears with regarding your treatment whilst under medical care, you should begin by putting your concerns in writing to the relevant medical authority and await to hear from them.
Once you have received their response and if you are still not satisfied you should seek advice from a clinical negligence solicitor. They will be able to discuss your individual case with you and advise if there is a possibility of pursuing a compensation claim.
You can find advice on how to pursue your complaint, on the NHS website, or by picking up a leaflet at your local hospital or GP surgery.
Many GP surgeries have their own procedures regarding dealing with complaints, so ask at your local GP surgery.
If this is not successful you can contact the General Medical Council (GMC). The GMC will only look at serious complaints that have already been investigated by the local complaints procedure and have not received a satisfactory outcome.
Complaints should be filed within twelve months of knowing about the negligence, and all cases need to be brought to court within three years of the date of knowledge.
We recommend that you lodge your complaint as soon as you become aware of any mistakes that may have been made, and if the complaints procedure does not provide you with a satisfactory resolution then we recommend you file your claim for clinical negligence as soon as you can with a solicitor.
You must bear in mind that a clinical negligence claim is not a quick process. Whereas a tripping on a raised paving stone or a fall at work may be resolved within a couple of months, the length of a clinical negligence claim is dependent on the other party’s (i.e. the hospital, dental surgery, etc) response time.
Public organisations such as the NHS have a longer response time as there will likely be far more red tape in a government organisation than a private medical facility.
If after reading this you feel that your situation has all the ingredients for a clinical negligence compensation claim then please contact our specialist solicitors for free, expert advice.