Errors made can include prescribing the wrong medication, failing to diagnose a fracture or cancer, extracting the wrong tooth, failing to spot a severe infection such as sepsis.

However, in recent times the cases of failings in communication or delayed appointments and diagnosis have increased.

GP’s have warned that there is a lack of Doctors and growing demand means GP’s are seeing three times as many patients and some are unable to see any non-urgent conditions. GP’s across England, Scotland and Wales see on average 1 Million patients a day.

In the papers this week were reports of a disabled woman who died following the removal of all of her teeth by a dentist at Kidderminster Hospital following treatment in October 2018. A three-day inquest into her death is expected in August.

What is medical negligence?

Examples are:

  • Failure to diagnose your condition or a wrong diagnosis
  • Mistake made during an operation
  • Prescribing the wrong drugs
  • Didn’t inform you of all the risks
  • Didn’t get your informed consent

You can only claim for medical negligence when:

  1. Your treatment was negligent, meaning it fell below acceptable standards, and
  2. This caused you injury or harm

You can claim for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Ongoing treatment, private treatment
  • Loss of earnings
  • Care and assistance provided by others including family
  • Adaptations to your home
  • Psychological damage

You only have three years from when the incident happened or when you first realised you suffered as a result of negligence. If you are a child you have 3 years from your 18th birthday to make a claim.

You should never pay a Solicitor to take on your claim. You should not part with any money up front. There are reputable, experienced and recommended firms that deal with Medical negligence on a no win, no fee basis and you should find one that will give you 100% of your compensation.

For certain cases of medical negligence there are compensation schemes such as the MacFarlane Trust for those who contracted HIV when treated for Haemophilia. For those who suffered damage from vaccinations claims can be made to the Vaccine Damage Payment Unit.