In the period covering 2006/07, there were a total of 5,426 clinical claims raised against the NHS.
This had increased markedly by the year 2020/21, where a total of 12,629 claims were raised against the National Health Service. This 133% rise is higher than the increase in population size, and it reflects the considerable challenges facing the NHS in terms of investment and manpower.
But how do you know if you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, and if you have, what actions can you take? Let’s find out!
Spotting the Signs of Medical Negligence
Medical negligence can take multiple forms, depending on your ailments, the stage of your condition and the treatment administered.
For example, let’s say that you’ve been diagnosed by a doctor and administered a treatment or course of antibiotics. If these treatments subsequently fail to work or you find your condition worsening, the doctor may have made an error in terms of either the drugs that they’ve prescribed or the dosage.
Similarly, if you’ve been diagnosed with a serious or complex condition following just a few basic lab tests, you’d be right to be initially concerned. After all, there’s a clear concern here in terms of the time and effort taken to diagnose the issue, and this may be a sign that you’ve been treated negligently.
When attending hospital for surgery, you may be concerned by issues of understaffing within you book in for a consultation or your operation. This may suggest that parts of your preparation or surgery are rushed, so it’s important to keep this in mind when appraising your treatment and subsequent recovery.
How to Cope in the Case of Medical Negligence
If you do find that you’ve suffered as a result of medical negligence or malpractice, there are some immediate things that you can do to help correct this. These include:
- Speak to a Specialist: Ultimately, the process of pursuing a medical negligence claim is far from easy, as it requires to demonstrate partial fault on the side of a healthcare provider and directly link the incident in question and your subsequent injuries or loss or earnings. To understand this process and determine whether you have a viable case, we’d recommend first liaising with medical negligence claims solicitors and deciding how to proceed.
- Gather Evidence: Given that the burden of proof lies on you as a patient, it’s important to focus on gathering evidence, using witness testimony where possible and obtaining copies of your medical records. The key is to create your case and highlight evidence of medical negligence, whether this pertains to prescription errors or surgical mistakes.
Manage Your Expectations: If you can prove your case, it will often be settled out of court when your legal team negotiate a settlement with the third party involved. However, it’s important to manage your expectations at this stage, as while you may have lofty expectations about your potential compensation claim, you’ll often have to compromise when the final settlement is offered
How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Medical Malpractice is a feature post