- What happens next
- Choosing a solicitor
- Funding A Claim
- Types of Claims
- Wrongful Birth
- GP negligence
- Birth Injury and Cerebral Palsy
- Erb's Palsy
- Injury to mothers during childbirth
- Claims for children
- Negligent hospital treatment
- Negligent weight-loss surgery
- Fatal claims & inquests
- Missed diagnosis of cancer
- Missed diagnosis of fractures
- Spinal injury
- Pressure sores
- Dental Negligence
Negligent hospital treatment claims
Most people go into hospital hoping to be well looked after and unfortunately in some cases this does not happen and as a result of medical negligence you may have suffered additional significant harm. In such circumstances you may wish to consider suing the NHS. Alternatively, you may have been treated in a private hospital in which case you will need to sue your private Consultant.
The Clinical Negligence Team has significant experience in dealing with cases of negligent hospital treatment and can advise whether there may be a claim for negligence in your particular circumstances.
Joachim Stanley acted for Mr M, who was admitted to hospital after breaking his leg. His wound became infected, and he was treated over a prolonged period with a drug called Linezolid. He later found out that this drug is usually only used in the treatment of MRSA, which Mr M did not suffer from. The hospital failed to perform any blood tests during the time Mr M was being treated with this drug which is in contravention of the relevant drug guidelines. Mr M was later re-admitted to hospital with anaemia, and was told he was suffering from leukaemia, and would be dead within a year. He later found out that his symptoms were not due to leukaemia at all are were instead due to the fact he had been taking Linezolid for so long. Mr M suffered widespread nerve damage known as neuropathy, and loss of balance, in addition to a significant psychological trauma caused by being told that he was going to die imminently. Whilst the case was defended by the Trust throughout, the Clinical Negligence Team were able to obtain compensation of £175,000 from the Trust for Mr M.
What is negligent hospital treatment?
When you are admitted to hospital the medical staff in hospital have a duty of care to look after you and treat you to an acceptable medical standard. If there is a failure to provide care to an acceptable standard, then this may meet the legal test for negligence and you may be in a position to claim for compensation.
When might I have a claim?
You may have a claim in medical negligence if you attended hospital for treatment or expected a particular outcome, but suffered an adverse effect as a result of the medical care received. It is important to note that there are lots of medical complications which are unavoidable and are not as a result of any medical negligence. However, there are a number of situations where medical mistakes happen and in which case you should seek advice as to your options.
If you are not clear as to whether a mistake has been made or not, then it is open to you to complain to the hospital and this may give you further information and help you assess the quality of the treatment you received.
What sort of compensation might I receive?
The level of compensation will be dependent on what your circumstances were at the time of your injury and the extent of your personal injuries. If you have been unable to work as a result of your injury then you will have a claim for loss of earnings.
If you have suffered a very serious physical injury then the effects on your life will be much more significant and will probably warrant a higher level of compensation. Compensation is broken down into two key areas, the first is for general damages to compensate you for your pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. There are then special damages to compensate you for specific financial losses including loss of earnings, the need for further medical treatment or therapy, the need for additional care or aids and equipment.
There is a long list of potential heads of loss and again, an experienced clinical negligence Solicitor will be able to fully investigate and advise you on this.
Awards for Negligent hospital treatment
Negligent hospital treatment
Kerstin Scheel, Partner, acted for Mary, who at 28 years of age was admitted to hospital as an emergency with appendicitis. She underwent surgery to remove her appendix but the surgeons failed to remove all of her appendix, leaving her with an infected tip in place. Following the surgery Mary became critically ill with an abdominal infection, requiring 2 further surgical procedures and an admission to the intensive care unit. She also required removal of part of her large bowel. Mary made a slow recovery and has been left with significant scarring, restrictions to her diet, bowel problems and possible future fertility problems.
The hospital Trust made an early admission of liability in Mary's case and her claim was brought to a quick settlement.
Negligent hospital treatment
Tracy Norris-Evans, a Partner in the Clinical Negligence Team, recovered £641,000 for Mr S who suffered anoxic brain damage when he made an attempt at self strangulation whilst under the highest level of observations at a psychiatric hospital. Liability was hotly contested in this case.