Understanding Medical Misdiagnosis: A Guide

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Medical Misdiagnosis is a substantial part of NHS claims and complaints. However, it is also often misunderstood. For example, you cannot file a complaint if you are simply unhappy with your diagnosis or do not believe that it is correct. This guide will explain the basics of misdiagnosis claims and enable you to understand whether you are eligible to make a claim.

What is Medical Misdiagnosis?

Medical Misdiagnosis is a pervasive issue, with 1 in 6 patients being misdiagnosed, and occurs when a diagnosis is made too late by a doctor or GP due to negligence by the NHS. It can happen if a doctor does not diagnose a medical condition, when the doctor makes a medical diagnosis late, or if a doctor makes the wrong diagnosis. The doctor’s misdiagnosis must then have an adverse effect on the patient, such as a worsening health condition. It can have a damaging impact on the patient’s ability to react to treatment, the length of their treatment and can also incur a large amount of financial loss onto the patient.

How does Medical Misdiagnosis Occur?

Misdiagnosis commonly occurs when a doctor has been negligent to the needs of their patient. It also occurs when a doctor has failed to investigate your symptoms thoroughly or have forsaken to perform the correct tests needed to diagnose you. Misdiagnosis can also happen if an unattended junior member of staff has examined you, or if a doctor is not specialised in a particular area.

When Should You Make a Claim?

You should consider medical misdiagnosis claims when your condition has worsened in relation to the doctor’s late diagnosis and is more substantial than if your condition had been diagnosed in time. To do this, you should visit a solicitor who can advise you as to whether your case is strong enough, the best process to take, and the evidence that you will need to support your case. You can also make a claim on behalf of a relative if their condition has worsened or if they have died due to a doctor’s misdiagnosis of their condition and consequential delay to treatment. You are able to make a claim up to three years after the misdiagnosis during your adult life. However, you can make a claim as to a child’s welfare any time until their eighteenth birthday.

How Much Compensation Can You Claim?

There is no standard amount of medical misdiagnosis compensation that you could receive from the NHS in relation to your claim. However, the amount of compensation you will receive relies on a number of factors, including your illness, the extent of your condition, changes to your life expectancy, the length of time your recovery and treatment will now be, and the extended time you will now have to have treatment for due to the misdiagnosis.

Medical Misdiagnosis is one of the most important factors when it comes to claims made against doctors and the NHS. However, you should ensure that you have the correct knowledge of the legal system and grounds for compensation before you make a claim.