If you, or someone you know, has suffered due to negligent NHS care, there are procedures in place to lodge a formal complaint. Medical treatment can be complex, and the outcome is not always satisfactory, and when you consider how overworked NHS care providers are, it isn’t surprising that errors occur from time to time. Sadly, there are times when the patient suffers due to a mistake, and the consequences can be serious, with some patients requiring special ongoing care for many years. If you feel you were not treated in the correct manner and the event occurred within the past 12 months, you can make a complaint against the relevant NHS care provider.
Sourcing Professional Assistance
As with most branches of law, medical negligence is a very complex field, and proving so in a court of law requires the guidance of an expert, who can be found easily with an online search. You might be looking for a medical negligence lawyer in Middlesbrough, and by typing in the right keywords, you should see a list of potential legal firms, and after a little browsing, would have a suitably experienced professional to contact. One thing to look for when sourcing an experienced medical negligence law firm is AVMA membership, which stands for “Action Against Medical Accidents”, a UK based charity that is focused on patient safety and justice.
Filing a Medical Negligence Claim
Providing the events occurred within the past 12 months, the first thing to do is make contact with the relevant NHS care provider, and this should be in the form of a letter, which should be sent by registered mail, as this gives you a record of the correspondence. This letter would include relevant information regarding the events surrounding the alleged negligence, along with the expected outcome from the patient’s perspective.
By talking to an experienced medical negligence lawyer, you will soon have a clear idea of the expected outcome. The solicitor would listen to your account of what transpired, and ask to see relevant documentation, such as medical reports, and would also like to know any other details that might be relevant. The initial consultation would likely be free and without obligation, and this allows you to make an informed decision about whether to make a complaint. If the solicitor felt there was insufficient evidence to support the claim, he or she would advise you not to go ahead, yet if they felt you had a strong case, they would be happy to guide you through the complaints process and act on your behalf.
If the Trust in question decides that the patient has, in fact, suffered due to medical negligence, the outcome could include one or more of the following:
- A financial settlement
- A written apology
- An indication that specific things require improvement
- A full explanation
It is unfortunate that some patients do suffer from medical negligence, but it is comforting to know that there are procedures on can take to complain, and with the help of an experienced medical negligence solicitor, more often than not, a satisfactory outcome is the result.