In the best case scenario, every visit to a doctor ends with you starting your path to recovery from accident or illness. However, there are some times when patients may leave the hospital in a worse condition than they entered it. For these instances, it is important to know what to do if you are ever the victim of clinical negligence.
What is clinical negligence?
Negligence covers a broad range of actions from a health care provider, including but not limited to prescribing you the wrong drug, failing to notify you of the risks of a treatment and not diagnosing your condition in a reasonable amount of time. If you feel like you have be subjected to negligence, it is within your power to seek a solution. To find out how, keep reading.
1. Try to stop it before it happens. If you or your child is receiving treatment from a physician and you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask them. This means that you should learn about clinical negligence and how to recognise it before your treatment so that you can communicate with confidence.
2. Address the issue. If you are not fortunate enough to stop clinical negligence in its tracks, you don’t have to simply accept the outcome of your situation. You should file a complaint with the hospital as soon as possible so that you can make a detailed report of what happened. You should also seek out corrective care, whether it is from the same doctor who treated you or another health care provider.
3. Seek outside help. After experiencing clinical negligence, it is not uncommon to be in a state of shock or confusion. If you need help planning your next steps, you can take advantage of resources like Patient Advisory and Liaison Services (PALS) that can walk you through the process of collecting the information that you will use to file your claim.
4. Follow the NHS procedure for filing complaints. If the place where you were treated is public, they are required by law to provide you with the information you will need to file a complaint with the National Health Service. All complaints should be in writing and should be as detailed as possible. The NHS will read complaints up to six months after the incident at issue.
5. File a legal claim. If your doctor was a private physician, you can still seek damages in court, which you will have three years to do. This would include the cost of your medical bills for corrective treatment, as well as court fees and missed compensation due to an inability to work. To help you with this kind of claim, it is necessary to find a competent, reliable solicitor. The referral panel of Action Against Medical Accidents can help you get started.
Most importantly, remember that clinical negligence is not something that you have to deal with on your own; there are many resources that you can use to find your way back to health and peace of mind.