Is Doctor and GP Negligence Common?
General Practitioners (GPs) are the first port of call whenever we have a health challenge of any kind. They are supposed to make a proper diagnosis of our health condition, give the corret medication, give a medical prognosis or refer us to a specialist. Doctors and GPs are expected to render the best care possible as any mistake could have devastating effects or prove fatal.
In this article we will outline what can be classified as a Doctor or GP negligence, what to do if you are a victim of negligence from your GP and how to go about the process.
How Often Does Doctor and GP Negligence Happen?
Statistics from the annual NHS negligence compensation claims for the 2019/2020 year shows that while the number of claims has remained fairly steady, the amount of compensation payouts have been rising exponentially. The NHS paid out about £2.3billion for negligence compensation claims while about £61.4 million was spent on claims involving GP negligence alone.
Taking the 2018/19 year as a case study, emergency medicine received the highest number of medical negligence compensation claims (1409) accounting for about 13%, this is followed by Orthopaedic surgery (1262 claims 12%). The breakdown also lists Obstetrics (1076 claims 10%), General surgery (927 claims 9%), Gynaecology (569 claims 5%) and General medicine (498 cases 5%) in that order.
The value of compensation however shows that Obstetrics received £2.5 billion accounting for 50% of the total value of payouts. Emergency medicine received £422 million (9%), Paediatrics £333 million (7%), Orthopaedic surgery £216 million (4%) while General surgery received £134 million (3%)
What is Doctor or GP Negligence?
Doctor or GP negligence refers to a situation where the medical practitioner fails to provide care acceptable by medical standards or makes avoidable mistakes such as medical misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, surgical errors or errors in prescribed medications which then causes the patient to suffer trauma, harm, injuries and losses which would have otherwise been prevented.
Thus, when they give substandard care from what is expected from medical professionals, causing the patient harm, injury or leading to a worsened medical condition, the patient can make an NHS claim for Doctor and GP negligence.
At NHS negligence claim, we have seasoned Solicitors with many years of experience that can provide you with the needed assistance to determine if you have a valid NHS claim for compensation and put you through the processes involved in suing your GP or suing the NHS for medical negligence.
Common Medical Negligence Claims In The UK Involving Doctors And GPs
Common mistakes made by Doctors and GPs leading to NHS compensation claims include;
1. Medical Misdiagnosis
According to an article in the Daily Telegraph, medical misdiagnosis accounts for about one in six patients treated in NHS hospitals and GPs’. Medical misdiagnosis can be divided into
- Missed diagnosis
- Error in diagnosis
Both types of misdiagnosis can be fatal.
2. Surgical Negligence
All surgeries are expected to be taken seriously as there is no such thing as a “minor surgery.” While most surgeries performed in the UK turn out successful, there are still occasions of surgical errors. The errors could range from not too severe to cases termed as “Never events”. They are cases that should not happen or be not expected to happen. Between August and October 2015 for instance, there were 190 never events which included cases where foreign objects were left in 46 patients while 79 surgeries were performed on the wrong location.
Other surgical mistakes include performing the wrong operation, injury to vital organs and patient infection.
3. Mistakes in Drug Prescription
Cases of incorrect prescription of medications, wrong combination of prescribed drugs or mistakes in dosage of the right medication are also attributed to GP negligence. These can have grave implications on the patient ranging from allergic reactions, disabilities, worsened medical conditions, brain damage or death.
4. Failure To Give Information About Risks Involved
Doctors and GPs in choosing a medical treatment should tell the patients of the risks involved in certain procedures and what other options are available. In the absence of this,, they can be sued for medical negligence.
5. Pregnancy and Birth Injuries
Pregnancy and birth injuries to mother and /or child, can be caused by doctor negligence. These may happen before birth, during birth or after delivery. Some birth injuries or cases as a result of negligence include abruption of the placenta, Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, cauda equina syndrome, among others.
Other cases of Doctor and GP negligence include;
- Failure to refer for tests
- Failure to refer to a specialist where applicable
- Failure to study the medical history of the patient to learn about existing medical conditions or allergic reactions
- Failure to carry out proper physical examinations
Any one of these mistakes can have a devastating, psychological and life-changing impact on the health and finances of the patient and family. It is therefore very important that you meet the best medical negligence solicitors to help you make a successful claim and get the compensation you deserve. This will assist in therapy sessions, procuring of assistive and adaptive devices, cover for losses and expenses incurred as well as unforeseen events.
At NHS Negligence Claim we offer a no win no fee policy, which allows you to speak with our expert solicitors who will determine if you have a valid claim and also guide you in the process of suing the NHS. You do not have to worry about upfront legal fees as you would only have to pay legal fees after the case is won and you have been adequately compensated.
NHS Complaints Procedure
It is completely legal to sue the NHS for acts of Negligence while receiving treatment. The NHS has feedback forms that dissatisfied patients or their loved ones can fill in situations where they feel the treatment they received was negligent and sub-parsubstandard..
Complaints are quite different from Claims. Usually, a claim would most likely lead to compensation if successful, but a complaint is mainly for record purposes and to improve the quality of healthcare delivery in the NHS. Complaints can be made any time and it is convenient for the patient to do so. However, but for a successful claim, the process has to be started within 3 years from the date of negligent treatment or when it was first discovered. For deceased patients, the family has 3 years to make claims from the date of death. It is however advisable that complaints be made known to your GP early enough to ensure it is promptly resolved.
You may also wish to speak to a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) about whatever concerns you have. Complaints can either be made directly to the NHS, GP or the commissioner of services.
In cases where the victim has died or is mentally incapable of making an official complaint, you would normally be required to include the patient’s written consent granting you the authority to write a complaint letter on their behalf.
What Do I Need To Make Successful GP Negligence Claims?
To make a successful claim against your GP or the NHS, you will need to prove that;
- The Doctor or GP owed you a duty of care
- The duty of care was breached
- The breach of duty is directly responsible for the harm, injury, trauma or loss of finances you suffered.
You will also be required to provide detailed statements, medical records and scan results, photographs, witness statements and details of financial expenses or loss due to the negligent treatment.
Our team of NHS expert Medical Negligence Solicitors can help you make that claim and get a well-deserved NHS compensation.
How Much Compensation Can I get For A Doctor and GP Negligence Claim?
The worth of your compensation varies and can be determined by taking several factors into consideration. These include severity of harm suffered, impact of harm on daily life, loss of earnings including anticipated future earnings, loss of inheritance, and period of time required to make a full recovery if possible. Compensation values can range from £1000 to several millions of pounds.
Can You Sue A Doctor After Surgery?
If you suffered avoidable injuries or complications after a surgery and you feel it is because of the Doctor’s negligence, then you can sue the doctor.
Can I Sue A Doctor For Misdiagnosis?
Doctors are expected to give the right diagnosis as any wrong diagnosis or completely missed diagnosis can be devastating or fatal. If your doctor’s misdiagnosis caused you harm, trauma or worsened your medical condition, you can sue them.
How Do I Sue A Hospital?
Our expert team of NHS Medical Negligence Solicitors can assist you with the legal advice you need, documents, other essentials and a proper guide to suing a hospital for negligence.