We hold professionals such as accountants, architects, solicitors and doctors to a high standard of service for good reason. Negligence in any one of these professions can result in serious harm to clients or patients, whether the harm is financial or physical. When professional negligence results in loss to you, then you may pursue compensation from the party responsible for the loss.
Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis of cancer are unfortunately common, and patients who are not accurately and promptly diagnosed may suffer devastating consequences. Whole families can be turned upside down when a doctor fails to diagnose a potentially terminal illness.
When patients are harmed by the criminal actions of a doctor, nurse or surgeon, questions may quickly arise as to how the medical professional was allowed to carry out the injurious acts. Injured parties deserve answers from the NHS when its doctors, whether by negligence or crime, cause harm to patients, and to get those answers, it may be necessary to pursue civil claims against the NHS trust responsible for the safety of patients.
The NHS classes some hospital errors as serious incidents. These include medication errors, equipment failure, pressure sores, infections, trips, slips and falls. NHS rules call for a full investigation of serious incidents.
Because we as patients trust them with our lives, we should be able rest assured that hospital theatre staff are dedicated to protecting our health and are properly educated and trained to operate medical equipment. Unfortunately, however, preventable failings do occur because of inadequate training, and patients consequently suffer injuries that could last a lifetime.
More than seven years ago, a 39-year-old father suffering from severe breathing difficulties sought medical treatment at a hospital in Harrogate. It was discovered that the breathing difficulties were due to epiglottitis, a rare throat disorder.
Disturbing reports continue to emerge around an NHS hospital in Essex. It has been alleged that Colchester General Hospital tampered with cancer data, and the Care Quality Commission has begun investigating allegations that the hospital tampered with waiting-time data to meet target figures.
With fewer hospital beds and lower budgets, a disturbing medical trend has emerged in the NHS: sending patients home from hospital before it is safe to do so. In fact, Dame Julie Mellor, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, said her organization is "increasingly concerned about patients being discharged unsafely from hospital." She added that keeping costs low appeared to have been a motivation to discharge some patients early.
At the inquest into the little girl's death, the assistant coroner for Warwickshire said that doctors "missed opportunities to diagnose and treat" the child but that "it has not been possible to conclude the causative impact of each missed opportunity."
Public debate has erupted around the increased number of contracts the National Health Service has awarded to private care providers in recent years. Along these lines, we discussed the clinical negligence claims related to 31 botched eye surgeries carried out by a private care provider in Somerset.