One of the first things you’ll want to do if you think you’ve been the victim of clinical negligence is make a complaint.
Making a formal complaint can stop other people from receiving the same poor standard of treatment by highlighting unsafe medical practices. It can also help you get an apology for what happened to you, and an acknowledgement that you were mistreated.
However, if you’ve been left affected by medical negligence and might continue to suffer in the future, then you may choose to think about making a compensation claim.
If you’ve already made a complaint, it doesn’t stop you being able to claim. In fact, it can even be useful by helping to build up a picture of what happened to you.
Making a compensation claim for medical negligence can be a complicated process – which is why it’s important that you get access to the very best solicitors. When you speak to a trained legal adviser, they’ll be able to let you know whether you’ll be able to make a compensation claim and can pass you on to the right solicitor for your case.
You can reach an adviser for free on 0800 234 6438, or fill in the secure online form to arrange a call back.
If you feel like you’ve been let down by NHS treatment, you might be unsure about making a complaint or starting legal action.
This may be because it’s daunting to make a claim against such a huge organisation, and you may also get a sense that the people working in it are only trying their best.
However, you shouldn’t let this put you off making a claim for the compensation you need. The NHS itself recognises that standards can sometimes slip and has mechanisms in place for recording and dealing with these cases.
Your right to make a complaint is included in the constitution of the NHS, which includes pledges that all complaints will be fully investigated with the results of these investigations being given to you.
It also includes the right to seek a ruling by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and your right to receive compensation if negligence has caused you harm.
Claims against the NHS will be dealt with by NHS Resolution, while private practices are regulated by the Care Quality Commission and the General Medical Council. These are independent bodies which set out a framework of good practice which any negligence can be measured against by experts.
If you chose to start a claim, your solicitor will bring together all the records and evidence of the treatment you received and compare this with your past and current state of health. If they think they can prove that you’ve been the victim of negligence, then they’ll begin putting a case together.
You can make a complaint for any negligent treatment. But we’ve listed some examples below of the most common causes of complaints:
Not all of the above are cases of neglect, but they do show the number of things that can go wrong when patients interact with medical professionals.
The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014: Regulation 20 legally recognises the importance of patient complaints, and the need for transparency within the health care system.
This regulation states that providers of health care have a duty to be open and transparent with patients and the people representing them. It also sets out steps which have to be taken when things go wrong – such as telling the patient, giving support, and giving an apology.
Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.
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