If you’ve been let down by a healthcare provider in the past, you’ll know the feelings of frustration and hopelessness that follow. However, in some cases it could be possible that you’ve missed some of the signs of medical negligence.
In this guide we’ll outline what constitutes medical negligence, and what it means if you realise you’ve been subject to any of the associated circumstances.
What is medical negligence?
Medical professionals owe a duty of care to you, and medial negligence occurs whenever this duty is neglected. With over 11,600 clinical medical negligence claims reported to the NHS last year alone, the rise in the number of these claims being reported aligns alarmingly with the start of the pandemic.
The specific circumstances vary with individual health concerns and treatments but can include an improperly performed operation; incorrect or delayed diagnosis; inadequate or unsuitable treatment, or injuries during pregnancy and birth. Here’s some of those explained in more detail:
- Surgical negligence
While most operations performed in the UK are done so successfully, occasional mistakes are made. Certain types of surgical negligence are referred to as “never events” and can include the wrong operation being performed or the wrong body part being operated on.
The ramifications could be traumatic or even life-changing, and certainly grounds to make a medical negligence claim.
Failing to diagnose a condition correctly and within a reasonable timeframe to start treatment can lead to unnecessary and prolonged suffering. With almost half of all GP appointments being held virtually, the inability for many people to see their doctor face-to-face has made the chance of misdiagnosis even more likely.
- Prescription error
Many people across the UK rely on their medical prescriptions to control symptoms of medical conditions. If an error occurs in the processing of medicines, a patient could be given the wrong dose or even the wrong medication. This could trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction, digestive problems, or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
- Injuries during pregnancy
Mistakes in care during pregnancy and childbirth can leave a lifelong impact on the mother and child, particularly in complicated or problematic births.
Birth injuries include any injuries suffered by the mother or the baby and could result in permanent disabilities for the child. Cerebral palsy and second- or third-degree tears could occur during labour due to a neglected duty of care.
It’s important to recognise if your duty of care has been neglected so you and your family can find answers and the justice you deserve.