In the UK there are different types of clinical negligence cases for which compensation claims can be made for injuries caused by sub-standard or negligent treatment.
Regardless of the type of injury caused, a clinical negligence claim can be brought against either an individual healthcare professional such as a GP, hospital surgeon, consultant, doctor, dentist or cosmetic surgeon; or made against a clinical or medical institution such as a private clinic or NHS hospital.
Types of Clinical Negligence Claims
- A&E Medical negligence
- Adult brain injuries
- Amputation injuries
- Botox related injuries
- Bowel injuries
- Cancer misdiagnosis or late diagnosis
- Child brain injuries
- Child birth injuries
- Cosmetic surgery injuries
- Dispensing incorrect medication
- Doctor negligence
- Exacerbation of existing illnesses
- Eye injuries
- Fatal medical accidents
- GP Mistakes
- Hospital acquired illness/disease e.g. MRSA
- Injuries caused by lack of or poor nursing care
- Medical malpractice
- Medical misdiagnosis
- Never Events
- Nursing and care home abuse/injuries
- Orthopaedic negligence
- Pregnancy injuries
- Pressure sores
- Spinal injuries
- Surgical negligence
A&E Compensation Claims | Cosmetic Surgery Claims | Amputation Claims | GP Mistakes | Pressure Sore Claims | Birth Injury Claims | Cancer Claims | Orthopaedic Negligence Claims | Fatal Medical Negligence Claims
Across the UK these days, Accident and Emergency units can be chaotic 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and are usually the busiest departments in any NHS hospital. A&E units are under considerable pressure to "process" patients as quickly as possible either by treating and discharging or transferring to another unit.
Sadly, this can and often does lead to a failure to diagnose and treat medical conditions appropriately. More importantly, because of the pressures on other NHS hospital units, patients are retained within the A&E unit inappropriately and receive inadequate care leading to a deterioration in their condition. There are many types of reported cases of NHS A&E units failing to diagnose serious injuries and conditions resulting in disability and even death.
Cosmetic Surgery Claims
There is constant pressure from the media, television and film industry to strive for perfection in how we all look. This pressure has transformed the attitudes of people from all walks of life and include men and women as to the benefits of cosmetic surgery.
Inevitably, this increase in surgical enhancement surgery has resulted in a noticeable increase in the number of botched cosmetic surgery compensation claims. The cosmetic surgery industry is loosely regulated compared to the NHS sector and it is far easier for commercial entrepreneurs to set up cosmetic surgery treatment centres with little regard to the standards of care that we expect.
Cosmetic surgeons and other practitioners who do not have the appropriate level of technical expertise and experience undertake cosmetic procedures which may lead to medical complications, injury and even death. Considerable cosmetic surgery rectification work may be required to undo the damage if possible, but the emotional and physical impact on the individual is often devastating and long lasting.
Common Types of Cosmetic Surgery Claims
- Breast enlargement/reductions
- Ear re-shaping
- Eyelid surgery
- Face lift
- Male enhancement
- Nose re-shaping
- Tummy tuck
Sometimes the results of cosmetic surgery procedures are less than expected. If you think that your cosmetic surgeon or Botox practitioner has been negligent then you may have a claim for compensation.
These types of medical negligence claim cases are often due to failures to identify and treat pre-existing illnesses and diseases. Amputation can also be as a result of mis-identification of the correct limb to be amputated and the patient has the physical and psychological trauma of losing two limbs. On other occasions amputation can be the result of mistakes made during routine procedures which leaves the limb vulnerable to infection or deterioration and thereafter removal.
For many people across the UK, their GP has known their entire family from birth. There is and always has been a general reluctance to make a clinical negligence claim against a GP for their mistakes because of this long term relationship.
Many people would simply accept mistakes from our GP that we would not ordinarily accept from other medical professionals such as a surgeon or hospital consultant. However, we do expect that the standards of care provided by a GP are not detrimental to our physical or psychological wellbeing.
Unfortunately, sometimes GP's make mistakes as a direct result of negligence. GP's are under increasing pressures of growing lists of patients, restrictions on treatments they can prescribe and the time they have to carry out a proper examination. This can result in performing surgical procedures they are not competent to do, and or failing to diagnose a medical condition despite the obvious symptoms being present.
A GP can also fail to request appropriate tests and then fail to act upon the results of tests they have requested. In addition, GP's may fail to refer patients to more specialist clinicians or surgeons when it is advisable to do so. In the limited time available to see patients and write up their notes, a GP may fail or forget to record or communicate important details to their colleagues to ensure proper continuity of care within the practice.
Increasingly, patients are suffering from the improper prescribing of drugs, failing to review medication and identifying adverse mixing of types of medication; all of which can have detrimental effects on patients.
Pressure Sore Claims
For anyone confined to bed for medical reasons, there is an expectation that basic daily needs will be met by nursing and support staff but on occasions the standard of care provided falls below acceptable levels.
Many patients are vulnerable because of pre-existing medical conditions, poor nutrition and dehydration whilst immobile. Patients have a right to be cared for appropriately and properly, so whether they are recuperating after surgery, suffering from a pre-existing condition or experiencing a disability that prevents them from mobilsing for long periods of time or whether they are on extended bed rests the standard of medical and support care should be at an acceptable level. If it is not then there is a significant risk that they will develop pressure sores, which can be difficult to treat and may lead to a prolonged stay or even life threatening infections.
The psychological impact of developing pressure sores cannot be underestimated which also affects the patient's ability to recover from the injury or illness originally being treated.
Birth Injury Claims
Giving birth to a child is supposed to be one of the most fulfilling of human experiences. It is a time of great expectation, trepidation, excitement, happiness and joy. Sadly, those dreams and expectations are shattered when it transpires that a child has suffered a birth injury because of medical negligence. The effects of such news are immeasurable, long lasting and difficult to accept. Birth related clinical negligence can occur at any stage in the pregnancy and is not just confined to the birth itself.
However, one of the most vulnerable times is at the time of delivery and clinical negligence at this stage can result in conditions such as cerebral palsy which is a lifelong injury. It is all the more devastating to know that many of these injuries are preventable.
Common Types of Birth Injury Claims
- Cerebral palsy
- Bowel trauma
- Perineal trauma
- Erbs palsy
- Low blood sugar
Sometimes the results of midwifery care and medical treatment are less than expected but if you think that your midwife or medical team have been negligent then you may have a claim for compensation.
Cancer is a growing menace in our society and because people are living longer it is more prevalent now than it ever was. Advances in medical treatments and therapies are comforting but a cancer diagnosis still remains a life-changing event, both for the individual and for their family.
Being diagnosed with cancer impacts hard psychologically which is compounded by the knowledge that the diagnosis was made late and or treatment has been delayed because of medical negligence. It could be as simple as a misreading of a diagnostic scan or a failure by medical staff to interpret test results but the effect is devastating.
Common Types of Clinical Negligence in Cancer Claims
- Misreporting of a scan
- Misreporting of a smear
- Misreporting of a biopsy
- Misdiagnosis of cancer
- Delay in investigations
- Delay in treatments
- Delay in referring patients to specialists
Sometimes the initial cancer symptoms are not investigated properly, or your medical staff failed to notice or recognise the cancer symptoms or the investigations were misreported. In any event the results of your medical care and treatment are less than expected but if you think that your nursing or medical staff have been negligent then you may have a claim for compensation.
Orthopaedic Negligence Claims
Some of the most common orthopaedic conditions relate to bones and muscles, which in turn affect the body's ability to move. These types of conditions are difficult enough to deal with but any deterioration can amplify those difficulties immeasurably.
In some cases surgical intervention is negligent which increases the rate of deterioration and can lead to revision surgery. The frustrations, pain and discomfort can also be compounded by the knowledge that the deterioration is as a result of medical negligence. In some cases delays in diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic fractures can lead to more serious conditions such as Compartmental Syndrome and Developmental Dysplasia. In significant medical negligence cases some conditions are not diagnosed such as certain bone cancers which can be life threatening.
Common Types of Orthopaedic Conditions
- Compartment syndrome
- Developmental dysplasia
Sometimes the initial orthopaedic injury to bones is not investigated properly, or the doctor or medical staff failed to notice or recognise the bone cancer symptoms, or the investigations were misreported.
In many fatal medical negligence cases, negligent or poor medical treatment may have been a contributing factor and if this is the case the first step is to report the matter to the Coroner. The Coroner will review the circumstances and decide whether the Coronor's Court should open an Inquest. Once the inquest is opened the Coroner will investigate the full circumstances surrounding the death of the patient.
The Coroner will hear evidence from those that treated the patient, review medical records and may hear expert evidence to assist the Court in reaching a decision. The Court allows family members the opportunity to question the evidence and the medical staff, usually through a Solicitor, to enable them to find out what actually happened.
The Coroner has a range of verdicts but if they believe that medical negligence did occur, a claim can then be made against the hospital for compensation. A claim for financial losses can also be made if the family were dependent too.
At Co-op Legal Services we have an expert team of specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitors and Medical Lawyers with a wealth of expertise.
We have had significant success in helping victims of clinical and medical negligence to claim compensation. These types of negligence cases can be complicated and often the surgeons fail to co-operate which compounds the feeling of isolation, depression, embarrassment and vulnerability. We treat our clients holistically and understand that they suffer physically and psychologically in equal measures.
We offer discrete, professional and thorough legal advice from a team of specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitors who draw on a wide range of highly regarded experts in the fields of medical and clinical negligence. This ensures that our customers receive the help and support they need to get you through this very difficult time.
We have an excellent track record of supporting our customers through the clinical negligence claims process and we place enormous emphasis on meeting all of our client's face-to-face. This ensures that we maintain our commitment to treat our customers holistically by thoroughly understanding each and every detail so that we get the best possible results. More importantly, we understand the sensitivity of clinical negligence cases and that you may feel more comfortable in discussing your case in the presence of family and friends.
Clinical Negligence Claim Time Limits in the UK
In most cases, the time limit for starting a clinical negligence claim is three years from the date you first realised that you had been injured as a result of negligent or sub-standard clinical or medical treatment.
Co-op Legal Services has offices in Manchester, Bristol and London.