While most medical procedures and conversations pass without incident, there are some cases where things don’t go to plan. While getting your regular prescription from the GP or having routine surgery tend to be fine, mistakes can happen. This can mean that the healthcare professional who was looking after you was medically negligent.
But what is medical negligence? And what do you do if you think you’ve been medically neglected?
What is medical negligence?
Medical negligence is when a professional has failed in their duty of care to you. This professional could be a surgeon or a GP, a nurse or a dentist.
You might have received the wrong care or that the treatment you had wasn’t up to the right standards. It could also be that there was accidental lapse in judgement on the part of your healthcare team. Whatever happened to make their care for you go wrong, if it’s caused you to be injured or it’s made your existing injury or illness worse, you could have been medically neglected.
What are the common reasons for medical negligence to occur?
There are several reasons why you could have been injured as a result of medical negligence. First, it could be an incorrect diagnosis or a missed diagnosis that’s had serious consequences for you and led to you not receiving the proper care.
There’s also the issue of incorrect treatments. This might be the wrong prescription was given, an incorrect dose prescribed, or that no treatment was prescribed or suggested.
Surgical errors are also classed as medical negligence. These can be anything from the wrong procedure being carried out to post-surgical care being inadequate and leading to complications later on.
Birth injuries also fall into the medical negligence category. If the mother and/ or the baby was hurt during the birth, there can be heartbreaking consequences.
How can medical negligence affect me?
Physical injuries as a result of medical negligence can be life-changing and, in some cases, result in death. As well as these catastrophic events, there are other ways you could be impacted.
If your injury means that you can’t work, you could find you have money worries, and these can affect your mental wellbeing. This is especially the case if you need to find the funds to pay for healthcare and treatments too.
There’s also the emotional and mental effect of the injury itself. You might be traumatised, and this can, in turn, impact on your relationships with those closest to you.
What should I do if I’ve suffered from medical negligence?
If you or someone you love has been injured in a medical setting, it might be worth seeking advice from a professional. If your trust in the medial profession has been damaged, there are online resources that can help, such as the Mind and Citizen’s Advice websites.
It might be work seeking compensation, too. This could help to cover the cost of the bills and any treatment that’s needed. The amount you could receive depends on what happened, but medical negligence solicitors are trained in working through each case. They’ll be able to help you take your claim forward. There were over 15,600 compensation claims made against the health service in 2019/19, so you wouldn’t be alone if you did decide to go ahead.
Whatever happens, it’s important that you know that it’s possible to get the support you need during this tough time.