When thinking about medical negligence (or clinical negligence), failed operations and poor care of a patient comes to mind. This term is used when a patient has received poor-quality care from a health professional which has caused injury or worsened an existing condition.
Health professionals have a duty of care, and if a patient is affected by their actions or inactions, they have breached that duty of care and can be liable for any injury caused. To put this into perspective, in 2019 the NHS reported they received 10,678 new clinical negligence claims, a staggering statistic when you consider this does not include private healthcare. They also reported the mediations on clinical negligence claims had increased by 119% in a single year exceeding the number of clinical negligence trails (62) in previous years.
It is important to note that it does not need to be an NHS doctor and can be all health practitioners in any field. This includes private dentists, cosmetic surgeons, eye clinicians and even those operating out of a private clinic.
There are many types of negligence present throughout all medical fields. Below is a list of the most common:
- Birth injuries – which can lead to serious physical and learning disabilities, and other life changing consequences.
- Incorrect surgery – which can have a major impact on mental health and affect the patient physically for life.
- Organs being perforated – during surgery leading to lifelong damage.
- Infection caused by poor hygiene – where neglection after post-surgery has led to infections.
- Misdiagnosis and late diagnosis – the most common misdiagnosis include diabetes and cancer.
- Prescription errors – this can include wrong dosage or being provided with the wrong medication entirely.
If you suspect you have suffered personal injury due to medical negligence, then you have three years to issue a claim to court. If you have little or no experience of the law, going ahead and making a claim can seem like a daunting task. With so much to think about, evidence to gather, and a potential trip to court, it’s easy to see why many people bring onboard medical negligence experts and lawyers to help.
Regardless of the injury or accident that has occurred, if you think you have suffered from medical negligence do not sit in silence. Speak out, find an expert and make sure you hold those responsible to account.