What is the role of a hospital?
Hospitals are health care establishments that employ a variety of specialist professionals and provide treatments all under one roof. People attend hospital for a number of reasons including treatment for conditions and disease as well and general injuries. Some hospitals are considered to be ‘specialist’, which means they specialise in providing care in a particular field of healthcare.
How can negligence occur?
You have the right to receive a reasonable standard of hospital treatment and care from all of the medical practitioners looking after you. This is known as the ‘duty of care’ owed to you by all of the people involved in your treatment.
So when is treatment considered sub-standard, or negligent? The standard of care that should be provided is that of a ‘reasonably competent professional’ for the type of medical practitioner providing it, whether in an NHS or private hospital. For example, if your claim relates to treatment provided by a nurse, the standard expected would be that of a reasonably competent nurse.
In order to show that the care was not reasonably competent, which may then entitle you to compensation, it must be proven that no other responsible medical practitioner with that specialism would have provided that level or care.
If a medical practitioner breaches their duty of care to you by providing sub-standard treatment which causes you to suffer an injury, you are likely to be entitled to receive compensation from the hospital.
What negligence claims can be brought against hospitals?
Typically, a claim for hospital negligence can be brought for
- A delay in diagnosing a condition and/or injury
- A misdiagnosis of a condition and/or injury
- A failure to treat an injury
- Negligent surgical treatment
- A failure to correctly interpret or follow up an abnormal scan or test result
- A series of delays due to a hospital not having appropriate procedures in place. This can occur, for example, when department referrals do not take place.
If you decide to bring a claim for negligent hospital treatment, and are successful, you will receive compensation for the injury you have suffered as well as any other financial losses you have incurred as a result of the negligence.
Substandard treatment affecting groups of patients
When this happens, patients will usually receive a letter from the hospital and may be invited to provide information so that it can be investigated. This can be extremely distressing for patients and their families. At Bolt Burdon Kemp we have helped groups of patients to get the support they need, and to achieve compensation for the injuries suffered as a result of the actions of a particular doctor.
Making a complaint against a hospital
If you are not happy with the standard of care and treatment you have received whilst at hospital you are entitled to complain, have your complaint investigated and to receive a full and timely reply. You can either send your complaint directly to the hospital or to the service provider – this is usually NHS England or a Clinical Commissioning Group.
If you are not satisfied with the response to your complaint you can refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. If you suspect that your treatment was negligent you should also seek legal advice.
Making a claim against a hospital
If you have experienced an injury as a result of negligent care received at a hospital then you are entitled to compensation. We know that it will be a difficult decision to bring a claim against a hospital, particularly if your treatment is ongoing.
It may be that you have received treatment at a private hospital or have seen a private doctor in an NHS hospital. This does not affect your right to compensation if you have experienced negligent treatment.
If you are unsure whether to pursue a claim you can contact the team for a no obligation conversation.
Almost all claims for hospital negligence will be funded on a no-win, no-fee basis.
Why should I choose Bolt Burdon Kemp?
Bringing a legal claim can seem daunting and it is important that you ensure that you have the best legal representation. At Bolt Burdon Kemp we have an sympathetic and specialist medical negligence team dealing with negligence claims against hospitals, including both NHS and private hospitals. We have a dedicated team who will always be available to discuss your concerns and guide you through the legal process.
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of substandard care, please contact our medical negligence team on 020 3925 6894 or complete our online medical negligence enquiry form.