The NHS (National Health Service) is the oldest and largest publicly-funded healthcare system in the world, providing basic care such as GP visits and blood tests through to treatment for devastating diseases such as cancer. Although it provides some of the very best free healthcare in the world, mistakes can occur and doctors and nurses can sometimes be negligent in the care towards patients, which can result in misdiagnosis, missed diagnosis, failed surgeries or mistakes in prescription medication.
In order to make a medical negligence claim against the NHS, you’ll need to be able to prove that the person or persons involved in your care were negligent in their conduct towards you. This means proving that the injury or illness would not have occurred if it were not for the actions of the doctor, i.e. the doctor caused the illness or injury or they missed treating the injury therefore making it worse. If it was likely that you were going to develop a secondary condition anyway, it will be difficult to prove that your complaint was due to negligence rather than a natural occurrence. Proof will also need to be obtained that the person or persons involved in your care were negligent towards you, or that they breached their duty of care in their actions. For example, a mistake made on a prescription form could be construed as medically negligent. Whereas an unknown side effect of a drug prescribed to treat a condition that is known to be 99% effective, it is not medically negligent as the doctor was making the best choice with the information that was available to them.
The time it takes to settle a claim depends entirely upon how complicated the claim is. If the medical professional admits fault when the claim is first brought, it could be settled within a matter of months. If the claim suggests that a number of medical professionals are to blame, the claims process will take longer and will be more complex, which means that it may take a few years to complete.
The NHS has a fund specifically for medical negligence claims that pays out to victims in the event of a successful claim. There are usually time limits imposed, which is typically three years dating from the date of the negligence or the date you became aware of an injury or illness that you suspect may have been caused or worsened by the intervention of the medical professional responsible for your treatment. This is known as your date of knowledge and in some cases it may be that your date of knowledge occurs sometime after the negligent event. For example, if a patient develops cancer or a fatal disease as a result of a missed diagnosis, this may not become apparent until several years after the incident. However, you would still be able to make a claim if you claim within three years of your date of knowledge. Speak to Axiclaim today to find out whether we can take on your claim and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Negligent medical staff should be held accountable for their actions to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated in the future. Making a claim for compensation means that not only will your financial future be secured and any costs associated with your medical care covered, the doctor and healthcare provider will be made aware that they need to improve their care. For help, advice and solicitors that will handle your case with sensitivity, contact Axiclaim.