We are all entitled to sue for medical negligence if the standard of care received falls below an acceptable level and causes avoidable health problems.
If you think that you have suffered because of substandard care, you shouldn’t be afraid to find out what you can do to get help with the costs of care. Or with the extra expenses that the additional symptoms have left you with.
If the problem is with your GP, contacting the practice manager at the surgery to ask for some help in understanding what’s gone wrong could smooth the way to getting the ongoing care that you need. The GP will be insured and should understand why you have to look and take action to protect your interests. If, however, you feel that the relationship of trust and confidence has broken down you can change doctors without giving a reason.
If the problems relate to care at hospital, there are formal processes for questioning the care and asking for an explanation as to what happened and why things went wrong. A request for answers to your questions can be made to the PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service).
Some people do feel uncomfortable about suing the NHS. But it is important to understand that everyone is entitled to a certain level of healthcare. If you don’t get the care you’re entitled to, the legal system has a long history of trying to make sure that you get the compensation you need to put in the position you would have been in if nothing had ‘gone wrong’. Whilst money can’t always do this, it can help with the additional care, support, therapy, and specialist aids and equipment costs that should make your life a bit easier.
What will suing my doctor achieve?
Many of our medical negligence clients simply want an apology or to make sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to others. However, as we have said, a financial settlement can help with independence and to get the support you need to adapt to a new normal for you and your family.
The NHS has a duty to be transparent, open and honest about how you’ve been treated. And they are required to learn from the results of enquiries that are made in the event of a complaint, or a negligence claim. So, if your care didn’t follow the guidelines, or fell so far below the standard expected, then you should not be concerned about challenging the medical professional. They will have the backing of a team of lawyers within the NHS Litigation Authority, which is an organisation that manages negligence claims against the NHS. Their stated aim is to “help resolve disputes fairly; share learning about risks and standards in the NHS and help to improve safety for patients and staff.”
At Levi Solicitors, our specialist medical negligence team can advise you on whether you might have a claim. If you would like to talk through an issue with treatment you or a loved one have received, please call us on 0800 988 7756. Or fill in our contact form and we will call you back.