What Should You do if the NHS Fails You?
All of us who live in the United Kingdom have to rely on the services of the NHS at some point in our lives. The National Health Service exists to provide free access to medical care for all British citizens and is one of the most significant and fundamental pillars of our society. Fortunately, in spite of the many pressures facing the NHS today, it continues to provide an excellent, high-quality service to all who pass through its doors.
Unfortunately, patients do sometimes experience issues with the level of care that they receive. These can range from minor complaints about a poor standard of service to more serious lapses in judgement, which result in physical or emotional harm to patients. These latter cases might even amount to medical negligence. If they do, then the affected patient may be entitled to financial compensation.
What is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence is said to have occurred whenever a patient has suffered illness or injury as a direct result of being provided a level of care which falls below the standards expected within either a public NHS hospital or a private institution operating within the United Kingdom. Not all cases where the standard of care has been poor will meet the criteria for medical malpractice, however, the more serious cases might warrant the issuing of financial compensation to the aggrieved patient, or their families if the negligence is serious enough to have resulted in a patient’s death.
Generally, for a case to meet the criteria for medical negligence, it must be shown that lapses in judgement on the part of any of the individuals involved in a patient’s care caused the patient to suffer in a way that would not have occurred had they received alternative treatments, or if the treatments they were given been administered correctly.
What Should I do if I Suspect Negligence?
If you suspect that the level of care you or a loved one has received while being treated in hospital amounts to clinical negligence, then your first port of call should be to complain to the relevant institution. Both public and private hospitals have their own complaints procedures, which are designed to facilitate the rapid processing and resolution of any complaints that are made.
Pursuing a Claim for Negligence
If you find the response you receive following the internal complaints procedure to be inadequate, then you should speak to medical negligence lawyers, such as The Medical Negligence Experts, for example, as they offer advice as well as ‘no win no fee’ support. Qualified medical negligence solicitors will be able to assess the merits of your case and will be able to make a determination as to whether the response you have received so far is appropriate. They will then advise you as to whether they think the case is worth pursuing or not.
Not all claims of medical malpractice will have an outcome which satisfies the patient. Even successful claims will not necessarily result in hospitals or doctors being censured or penalised financially. The best medical negligence solicitors will help you to manage your expectations and avoid disappointment, giving you a realistic idea of your prospects.