The NHS treats millions of patients every year, the majority of whom receive excellent care. There are unfortunate instances, however, when the standard of care falls below what is acceptable, leading to NHS negligence and patient injury.
What is NHS negligence?
Your caregiver has a duty of care to have your best interests at the forefront of their treatment of you, and certainly not to harm you in any way. NHS negligence can happen at any point in your treatment, from your initial GP visit to a stay in the hospital, surgery, or even dental care. Examples include:
- Delayed treatment
- Medication errors
- Pressure sore negligence
- Failure to assess a patient and their suitability for a particular treatment
- Maintaining incorrect or insufficient paperwork
- Omitting to communicate information which relates to a patient’s health, such as an allergy
- Pregnancy and birth injuries
- Unnecessary surgery
Delayed treatment due to misdiagnosis is one of the most frequently seen causes of NHS negligence. An example is a claim brought about by the widower of a woman who died as the result of inadequate testing and assessment in the initial stages of her cancer diagnosis. With the thorough investigation into her care, and with the assistance of independent medical experts, a successful claim demonstrated that several serious mistakes occurred before her cancer was correctly diagnosed, by which point it had spread far enough to be terminal.
Girlings Personal Injury Solicitors have experience of handling clinical negligence claims to obtain both recognition of a patient’s injury and suffering, and fair compensation payments to help them reach their future potential.
How to Make an NHS Negligence Claim
Any successful NHS negligence claim needs to prove that you received negligent care and that this directly harmed you in some way. This is not always easy to show, but seeking legal advice from a medical negligence lawyer, like those at Girlings Personal Injury Solicitors, at an early stage can benefit your claim.
Patients and their families may feel reluctant to start a claim for NHS negligence, fearing the size of the service will make it impossible to succeed. Again, having a team of experienced lawyers representing your legal rights and acting as your advocate makes it much more straightforward.
What Happens Next?
The first step is for your lawyer to establish whether you have just cause for a claim. That is, whether you can prove NHS negligence caused your injury. Once they have done this, they will submit a compensation claim for damages which will include any expenses you have incurred as the result of your injury and any potential future costs such as additional treatment or nursing care.
The majority of personal injury claims, including NHS negligence claims, settle out of court with one party admitting liability and paying appropriate compensation. It may take some negotiation to reach this point, which is why it is beneficial to have an experienced medical compensation solicitor representing you.
The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) handle all negligence claims on behalf of the NHS. Not only do they represent the NHS department involved in the claim, but they also feedback information to improve the standard of risk management across the NHS.
Contact Girlings Personal Injury Solicitors today and ask how the can help you with your NHS negligence claim.