NHS negligence involves mistreatment by medical professionals which has resulted in an injury or death. Although NHS employees produce an excellent quality of care, mistakes can unfortunately still happen. NHS negligence can result from a range of mistreatments including misdiagnosis, wrong diagnosis and a mistake made in a procedure or operation. Alongside this, if a medical professional has issued a wrong drug treatment or has failed to check potential treatment side effects, this also counts as NHS negligence.
Whatever the circumstance, if a medical professional has breached their duty of care, patients are eligible for medical negligence compensation. However, medical negligence is notoriously difficult to prove therefore it is vital for patients to obtain clear evidence that a breach has been made against them. The breach must be directly responsible for the patient’s injury or death. The patient must also prove that they are suffering damages due to medical negligence; otherwise there will be no legal ramifications.
To file a claim against the NHS for medical negligence, patients might want to follow these 5 basic steps:
Patients who are still receiving care in hospital who feel that are being mistreated may want to confront medical staff directly to file a formal complaint. Formal complaints provide an opportunity to obtain insightful information about a procedure or treatment. Patients must make a note of any discussions with medical staff. Any responses from medical staff should be put in writing, whenever possible.
Request medical records
A patient has the right to request all of their medical records. Patients can use these records to prove whether or not vital information has been considered by medical staff when deciding procedures and treatments. Be prepared to be charged a small fee to obtain the medical records.
Seek specialist help from a medical negligence solicitor
Claiming against the NHS can be very difficult as victims are directly claiming against medical ‘experts.’ If a victim of medical negligence has no medical training, trying to prove their case against experts in the profession may be a long and stressful process. Therefore, victims of NHS negligence are well advised to seek help from a professional clinical or medical negligence solicitor. Medical negligence solicitors are experts in dealing with medical negligence claims and are experienced in helping victims who may be extremely vulnerable and distressed. Understanding, yet highly skilled, medical negligence solicitors will help take the patient’s claim to the next stage as well as providing them with initial thoughts in relation to the original treatment regime.
Evidence is vital to a successful claim against the NHS. Patients must show evidence of both negligence and causation for a legal claim to be made. Negligence involves a breach of duty or negligence of a medical professional, which has caused an injury or death. A medical negligence solicitor will require a supportive opinion from an independent medical expert on the case. They will use this information and other evidence the patient has conducted to support the case.
Act Straight Away If Possible
Medical negligence claims have a strict three year deadline in the UK. The three year period runs from either the date of your accident or from what is termed the “date of knowledge”. This is the date when a person could first reasonably have been expected to have known that an injury was significant and that it could be attributed to the conduct involved. Except when the date of knowledge is clearly identifiable, it is usually safer to assume that the 3 year period will run from the date of the accident.
The three year limit does not apply to children until their eighteenth birthday. They have until their twenty-first birthday to make a claim. If a patient has a mental disability and is unable to process their own claim, the three year rule does not apply to them unless they recover from their disability.
Make a free enquiry with us and one of our professional and friendly medical negligence solicitors will be happy to help you decide the best way to proceed from here.