NHS Medical Negligence
The National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly funded healthcare service provided in the UK. Many of us are proud of the NHS, and rightly so, and we recognise that when something goes wrong, it can be difficult to decide to take action to see mistakes being put right.
Healthcare organisations, particularly hospitals, are complicated and staff are often very busy. This can sometimes be the reason behind substandard care being provided, but it doesn’t make it acceptable.
At Bolt Burdon Kemp we understand how difficult it can be to both live with the consequences of negligent medical care, and consider the prospect of taking action about it.
Our team of friendly and professional experts will guide you through the process of getting redress for mistakes that have been made.
What should we expect from the NHS?
Every person using NHS services should expect the staff treating them to make the patient’s safety their first priority. Patients should expect to be treated in a clean environment, with minimal risk of infection.
All equipment should be in good working order and used in the correct manner. The treatment provided should be appropriate to the patient’s condition – and this includes the timely use of suitable medicines in appropriate dosages.
Patients with existing conditions should receive care that minimises the risk of further harm. Care should be coordinated carefully, and a patient’s needs communicated effectively.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regularly visits UK hospitals to assess patient safety and services provided. The CQC has the power to take special measures when standards aren’t met.
The NHS Litigation Authority acts on behalf of NHS organisations when negligence claims are made against them.
The NHS provides a very wide range of services to patients, for example:
- Family doctor/GP
- Specialist therapies such as speech and language therapy
- Accident & Emergency service
- Hospital treatment as an in-patient
- Counselling and psychotherapy service
- Midwives and health visitors
When a patient receives treatment from the NHS that is below the standard expected, they can not only feel let down, they may also suffer further health complications as a result.
Some patients might feel guilty about making a complaint, however it’s important that your health is put first. Putting something right now may also prevent similar problems happening in the future.
Making a complaint against the NHS
To make a complaint against the NHS a standard procedure needs to be followed. It can be a daunting process, but we at Bolt Burdon Kemp have many years of experience, and will be able to guide you through the process.
It’s important when making a complaint to say what you would like to happen, and key information needs to be included. The complaint needs to be submitted within a reasonable time of the treatment or care complained of, and it is usually only possible for complaints to be considered where they are made within 12 months.
If you would like to make a complaint about NHS treatment or care, you should take specialist legal advice, as you may be entitled to compensation as a result of medical negligence.
Bolt Burdon Kemp has significant experience of recovering compensation for patients in NHS medical negligence claims, so please get in touch and our friendly team will discuss your options with you.
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of substandard care, please contact our medical negligence team on 020 7288 4800 or complete our online medical negligence enquiry form.