Medical Negligence

The latest Clinical & Medical Negligence News from hospital mistakes to misdiagnosis and birth injury claims cases. Also the story from a solicitors point of view.

Medical Negligence and Litigation In The UK

Medical Negligence ClaimsBy Natalie Thomas. Last Updated 7 March 2022: Medical negligence or as its often referred to now as clinical negligence as it covers all types of negligence that effects the well being of a person in its self is quite a broad term. In this article pacifically we are going to look at medical negligence, medical error that happens within a medical environment that causes ill effects up on a person health and how medical negligence is viewed within the UK legal system.

Clinical Negligence Litigation Information Covering The UK 

Our advisors can provide you with instant free legal advice about making a clinical negligence claim. As well as this, they could connect you with an expert from our panel of medical negligence solicitors, wherever you are in the country. They also have a guide on medical negligence law in the UK, so why not read through to find out more? 

You may have concerns about the cost of legal representation or how you might find a good medical negligence lawyer near to you. They offer a service that can save you time by connecting you with a panel of expert lawyers.

This service is available to you wherever you live. Our panel can assess cases remotely on a nationwide basis, which means that you are not limited to options local to you. Much of the communication can be online or over the phone, which means a No Win No Fee medical negligence specialist could start work for you sooner than you think.

Furthermore, our panel offer No Win No Fee agreements for all claims they accept. Essentially, there’d be no upfront medical negligence solicitor fees. Whilst it is not a legal requirement to have a solicitor, it’s important to note that medical negligence claims can become complex. A solicitor acting on your behalf could devote the time and attention that your claim needs, while you concentrate on getting well.

Clinical negligence is a serious issue that can leave patients with life-altering health problems. Don’t feel that your claim should suffer because of poor access to legal help. Speak to one of their experts today and see if you can get the damages you deserve. 

Medical Negligence Statistics In The UK

While many of us will go through our lives with little cause to use the National Health Service (NHS), some of us aren’t so lucky. And our luck can further dry up when an operation goes wrong, or we’re misdiagnosed or prescribed medication that does us more harm than good.

These incidents are rare, and the service the NHS provides is one of the best in the world. But mistakes do happen, and they’re costly. In 2019/20, the NHS paid out just over £2 billion settling clinical negligence claims. £61.4 million alone was spent on settling claims relating to GP surgeries, according to NHS Resolution’s annual report.

Claims appear to be on the rise too. In 2018/19 there were 10,672 new cases lodged against the NHS. In 2019/20, that figure rose to 11,682. More figures can be found on NHS Resolution’s statistics page.

How Do You Prove Clinical Negligence?

Just like any other negligence case, it’s necessary to establish three key criteria:

  1. That the defendant owed you a duty of care
  2. They breached that duty
  3. And as a result, you suffered harm

From a medical negligence perspective, the duty of care element is straightforward to prove. If you’re undergoing treatment at, for instance, your local GP or hospital, the healthcare professionals treating your injury or illness will owe you a duty to provide care of the standard expected of them and to inflict no avoidable harm.

Proving breach of duty is more difficult, however. Using legal tools such as the Bolam Test, claimants can assess whether a medical professional has fallen below the standard expected of them. The Bolam Test involves a panel of similarly qualified medical professionals assessing the alleged incident of negligence to determine whether they would have acted differently in the circumstances. If they would have done so, the healthcare professional will likely have breached their duty of care.

The final element, damage or harm, relates to the consequential impact of a doctor breaching their duty of care. Under this, it’s necessary to show that the breach caused or contributed to your injuries. This is otherwise known as causation.

Medical Negligence Claims and the Law

If a patient has a bad or poor experience while receiving medical care or treatment it does not always mean that medical negligence has been committed and this is even more so true when it comes to legal litigation and pursing a claim in court. It is fair to say that a patient can receive poor treatment from a medical care provider but unless such treatment has caused them to suffer further health wise then no claim for medical negligence can be pursed. In order for a victim to make an eligible claim for medical negligence it must be proven that the treatment or care that has been provided by a person who had responsibility for a person’s health has provided a service that was of poor care. Furthermore that care provided must have in some way had a direct effect up on the patient’s health. Within the boundaries of the law a medical negligence case will only be heard if the victim has suffered, it is not enough just for the standard of service to be poor.

For a case to be able to stand up in a court there must be evidence to show that a person of the same capabilities in a similar situation would not have caused or provided the same type of care. In layman’s terms it means that no other health care worker would have caused the negligence that the patient experienced given the same circumstances. In some situations it is not always transparent when negligence has been committed, some victims of Medical Negligence do not suffer the fall out till some time later, or may even ever be aware of the error committed. However, a recent change to the law now means that doctors must admit if a medical mistake has taken place. It is in the effort to prevent cover ups that have in the past meant that many patients have experienced negligence but it has never been brought to light and it has allowed medical staffs to continue to work at a poor standard. Shockingly in the past it was not compulsory for doctors to admit when they had made mistakes therefore many types of medical malpractice was swept under the carpet and as other medical staffs where afraid to tell the appropriate people as they feared being labelled as a whistle blower often medical negligence was not brought to light.

Many critics feel that this statutory Duty of Candour needs to go further as if examined correctly doctors are only admitting to harm that has already materialised, critics believe that any harm whether it has come to the surface or not must be admitted to in order to make a fundamental difference.

Time Limitation Boundaries and Medical Negligence

Medical Claims Time LimitIt is vital to say that in most cases there is a time limitation period and that if claims are not brought in the first three years of the incident happening then they can no longer be pursed. Of course like most things there are exceptions to the rule, as was mentioned previously not all medical mistakes are apparent straight away they may take some time to surface and for this reason a victim of the negligence has three years form discovering the negligence took place to make a claim. If a person is redeemed to have a mental issue then they have three years from the time that they make a full recovery to purse a claim within the courts, if the person is unlikely to make a recovery then there is no limitation and they can make a claim at any time. If a minor is subjected to negligent treatment they have three years from the time they turn eighteen to make a medical negligence claim if they choose to do so.

It is always advised if you believe that you have experienced negligent treatment to seek legal advice as soon as possible while the event is still fresh in a person’s mind and the appropriate witnesses and evidence can be obtained. Leaving such a decision for a long period of time can mean that evidence may be lost or witnesses cannot be found as people move around. Most legal law firms that deal with medical negligence now offer free legal advice without entering in to any legal litigation to people who believe that they have a case for medical negligence. Appointing a solicitor who specialises in the area of medical negligence that a person has experienced is always crucial in order to receive maximum results. Many are always in doubt as to whether to pursue a claim for medical negligence as they fear it is can be a complex case however with the right legal team behind them much of the work is carried out by them and little input from the client is needed.

Medical Negligence Statistics & Medicine Mistakes

Medical NegligenceThe field of medicine is not like any other field of study. The work that is performed here has a direct impact on our lives and this is why there is a need to have very strict rules in the code of conduct for every medical institute. This includes hospitals, medical training institutes and other academic and practical entities. In most of the places, you will find that there actually are good and strict codes of conduct in place that ensure a responsible working environment in all aspects. However, not everyone acts the way they should and there are often incidents reported that involve malpractice and medical negligence. While most of the times it is not directly related to any person or patient, there are even cases where the lack of diligence results in the loss of lives. While addressing these issues is extremely important in every part of the world, it is also just as important that we are well aware of the problems that are occurring around us in this regard. Keeping yourself informed about these incidents is actually important if you want to make sure you don’t find yourself in a bad situation. To help you with that, we will be sharing some of the latest news regarding medical negligence here so keep reading to find out more.

Medical Negligence statistics on a rise

In a recent study carried out researchers at Johns Hopkins, it has been discovered that the number of medical negligence cases in the UK & US have been rising quite rapidly in the recent years. In an issue of 2013 of BMJ Quality and Safety, they mentioned that errors caused by doctors in diagnosis resulted in deaths that numbered from 80,000 to 160,000. The research also found that over the past 25 years, there have been more than 350,000 claims for medical negligence and the result of this was severe health problems to patients and subsequently a massive payout. The study found that between the years 1986 and 2010, patients were compensated with a total amount of 38.8 billion, most of which was related to diagnostic errors. While the sum is itself quite huge, the real concern here is the fact that the issue is continuing to grow and there is no proper mechanism in place to ensure that such negligence is avoided at all cost.

Jury awards 1.5 million to family of man who committed suicide after using Paxil

Joseph was a 51 year old teacher, basketball coach and father who was prescribed 20mg doses of the antidepressant Paxil which he was taking for 10 years before his suicide in 2009. The doctor did not even once see the Joseph in person during all this time to assess the effects that the drug was having on him and every time Joseph needed pills he would call the doctor and would get a new subscription without any follow up check-ups. Doing so was completely unethical both morally and in terms of medical regulations and it kept on going regardless. Things suddenly got worse in the August of 2009 and when Joseph asked the doctor for a check-up, he simply doubled his dosage instead and also included Zyprexa in his medication which is an antipsychotic drug. As a result of this, Joseph, an otherwise cheerful and lover person, was found dead in his garage a month later by his wife. The jury fully agreed that the blame was completely on the doctor and the family was awarded 1.4 million in todays money that is the equivalent to £930,000 as compensation for the negligence shown by the doctor. It is a high amount compared to what some medical negligence solicitors can win a clinical negligence case for.

Drug companies easily manipulating doctors

MedicineTests like this have been conducted several times in the past and have brought the same results every time. It is a very common sight to see that a drug that you see on the television suddenly ends up in your doctor’s office as well. In a recent test, it was seen that whenever patients went to the doctors and named a certain drug, there was a huge chance that they will be prescribed that drug. A test that was done in the past with Paxil showed the same scenario as the patients, even those who didn’t have any depression, when they took the name of Paxil; it became highly probable that they will be prescribed Paxil by the doctor. What it really has shown over and over and even in this recent test is that doctors are becoming less and less careful about their practice and could simply be termed as glorified drug dealers for pharmaceutical companies.

To find out what laws are in place regarding medical negligence, you can visit this