June 18, 2024

Obligate Law

Professional Law Makers

Health Service Negligence Cases – When Does a Complaint Become a Legal Compensation Claim?

2 min read
Health Service Negligence Cases – When Does a Complaint Become a Legal Compensation Claim?

When dealing with Medical Negligence cases (also known as Clinical Negligence), it is extremely important to distinguish between a Claim against the NHS and a Complaint. Whilst majority of operations and treatments go according to plan, there are often times where things do occasionally go wrong. However, this does not necessarily mean you have a claim for Medical Negligence and in order for a claim to be viable, you must show that you have suffered personal injury or harm following a medical procedure or as a direct result of wrongful advice given by a medical professional within an NHS organisation.

A few years ago, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee condemned the way in which Medical Negligence incidents were dealt with in the NHS:

QUOTE: According to the Department of Health, one in every 10 patients admitted to NHS hospitals is unintentionally harmed. These statistics would be terrifying enough without our learning that there is undoubtedly substantial under-reporting of serious incidents and deaths.

This is rather shocking, especially after many of us believe that the general standard of healthcare in the UK is considered to be very high in comparison with other European and foreign countries. Whilst there are always ongoing Government issues with funding and the general administration of the NHS, many of us are simply unaware of the full extent of clinical errors made within the UK. The mere fact that many serious incidents and deaths are under-reported must certainly be a terrifying thought for many patients who have been admitted to hospital for medical treatment.

However, if it is clear at the outset that no personal injury or harm has been suffered as a result of any operation or medical treatment received, it is unlikely that a claim for Medical Negligence would be viable. However, many are unaware that there is an NHS Complaints Procedure in place which enables patients to complain about the care or treatment they have received or if they have been refused treatment for a specific health condition. The complaint will be investigated by the NHS Trust in question who must provide a full and prompt reply within a given timescale. Visit the NHS official website for more details about the complaints procedure.

If you have suffered personal injury or harm then you may well be entitled to make a Medical Negligence compensation claim against the NHS. Specialist solicitors will be able to advise you on whether you have a viable claim or whether you should simply follow the NHS Complaints Procedure. However, if in doubt it is always important to seek professional advice to distinguish between the two.

Remember – a complaint against an NHS Trust may well lead to a viable compensation claim!

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