Despite the current political climate, the NHS remains one of the most respected institutions in the country. However, with the incredibly high number of patients that they see every day, as well as the endless variety of medical procedures and surgeries, there are inevitably going to be mistakes made. Nobody wants to sue the NHS, but in cases of negligence, it may often be your only option. Medical negligence can be extremely serious and can result in many long-term negative consequences on your health and your quality of life. If you believe that you have suffered from some form of medical negligence at the hands of the NHS, then here’s what you need to know.
Reasons for Making a Claim
Most people are unaware of exactly when the NHS is considered responsible for negligent healthcare. Knowing which issues and situations are likely to result in a successful claim against the NHS is going to be vital. Always look for legal advice before you start the process of making a claim, but these critical areas are the most common reasons for UK patients making a claim against the NHS:
- Surgery mistakes
- Delays on treatment
- Medical misdiagnosis issues
- Getting an infection while in a medical facility run by the NHS
- A&E compensation claims due to negligence
While this is not a comprehensive list, these remain the most common claim types made against the NHS.
One of the reasons why people sometimes fail to make a claim that they may be entitled to is that they leave it too late. There is a time limit for making claims against medical professionals, and the NHS is no different. The usual time limit for medical negligence claims will be three years, although there are extenuating circumstances that will be taken into account. These are primarily aimed at those under 18 or patients with limited mental faculties.
Another reason why some people are hesitant to start a compensation claim against the NHS is that they are expecting to require continued medical care and they fear that their ongoing treatments will be affected. This is a natural concern, but you should remember that legally, no medical professional is allowed to refuse you access to the care that you need. If you feel uncomfortable continuing your healthcare at the facility that caused the initial problems, then you will be able to make an application to transfer your healthcare to an alternative facility.
The Cost of a Claim
Legal costs are prohibitive to many, but you will need legal advice if you do want to make a claim against the NHS. Make sure that you obtain the services of a no win no fee medical negligence solicitor who is experienced with medical negligence claims. Not only will this give you more financial flexibility, but it will also ensure that your legal team will have experience in the complex procedures and legalities of medical compensation claims.
Everyone has the right to expect professional healthcare. If you feel that your GP is failing your needs, or you experience treatment that you believe is unsatisfactory, then get legal advice as quickly as possible. The faster that you respond to the issues, the quicker you will be able to receive your compensation and move forward.