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Hospital Negligence

Hospital Negligence – An Overview

According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) there were just over 15,000,000 NHS Hospital admissions for the year 2012-13, this is an increase of nearly 13% in 5 years. This is at a time when the NHS is suffering with funding shortfalls and staff shortages.

We have all seen and read with dismay the reports over the recent years exposing various Hospital ‘scandals’ and the worry that this causes can make your hospital visit more stressful than it should be.

Rest assured that the vast majority of hospital admissions will be managed correctly and patients will receive good quality care, but there are sadly occasions when the standard of care falls below the level expected and can result in a claim for negligence.

Of course it is not just the NHS hospitals that are under pressure a Hospital Negligence claim can be brought against a Private Hospital too. It does not matter how your health care is funded you have the right to expect a proper standard of treatment from your health care provider.

In order to bring a successful Hospital Negligence Claim you have to prove two things. Firstly, you have to prove that the Hospital staff entrusted with your care acted in a way that their peers would not have done. This is known as the Breach of Duty or Care.

Secondly, once the Breach of Duty of Care has been established you then have to show that the injuries you suffered are either the result of, or have been negatively impacted, by this Breach. This is known as Causation.

If you believe you have a claim for negligence against your hospital within the last 3 years then please contact us now. Click here, fill in our enquiry form on this page or telephone us on 01244 659404 or 0900 0857777.

Types of Hospital Claims

At The Roland Partnership we have been involved in investigating a wide range of claims against both NHS and Private Hospitals. The mistakes, errors and oversights that we have investigated can sadly lead to suffering that would have otherwise been avoidable. The types of claims we have investigated have included:

  • Birth Injury Errors – Please click here for more information
  • Blood Clot (Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT)
  • Delayed or missed diagnosis
  • Delayed Surgery
  • Failure to assess patient’s care needs leading to accidents in hospital
  • Hospital Acquired Infection
  • Incorrect Treatment
  • Incorrect Interpretation of X-rays, scans, blood tests etc
  • Medication Errors – Please click here for more information
  • Pressure Sores – Please click here for more information
  • Surgical Error

This is by no means an exhaustive list but covers the main areas we are asked to investigate.

Negligence whilst in hospital can result in all manner of injury from a delay in the patient’s full recover to fatal errors.

Private Hospitals

It does not matter if you were in a Private Hospital and you were paying the costs for treatment yourself or if it was covered under a health insurance policy if you believe that you suffered negligence whilst in hospital you should consider bringing a claim.

With a claim against a Private Hospital it is not always clear at the start who the claim is against, this is because the consultants and doctors are self-employed, the nurses are usually employed by the hospital and other professionals such as therapists may be self-employed or employed. Additionally the hospital itself maybe owned by a further company.

It is therefore important that you seek advice from a specialist law firm who has the experience of dealing with the complexities of such a claim. At The Roland Partnership we have vast experience of claims against Private Hospitals and will provide you with support and advice through every step of the claim.

NHS Complaints Procedure

The NHS have a complaints procedure in place which allows a patient to make a complaint if they are unhappy with the care and/or treatment that they have received.

It is important to recognise that there is a difference between the NHS complaints procedure and bringing a legal claim for negligence against the NHS Trust that the hospital is part of. The NHS complaints procedure is designed by the NHS to identify local and national problems with the delivery of the Healthcare service.

If your complaint is upheld under the Complaints Procedure you should receive an apology for the mistakes made, and for some patients this is what they are seeking, however you will receive no compensation from a successful complaint. For compensation you will need to bring a legal claim for negligence.

On occasions there will be merit in making a complaint to the NHS prior to starting legal proceedings and if we feel this is the case we will advise you how to make the complaint and will assist you with the paperwork, at no charge to yourself.

It is important to remember that you only have 3 years to bring a legal claim for negligence against a hospital and spending time embroiled in a potentially lengthy exchange with the NHS under the complaints procedure does not extend this time limit.

Hospital Negligence – Making a Claim

It can be daunting to consider bringing a claim for negligence against your hospital and the staff you entrusted with your care but shortfalls in funding and staff shortages have put pressure on medical facilities across the country and consequently the number of claims are also rising.

At The Roland Partnership we will advise and support you throughout the claim, we will be with you every step of the way.

Medical Negligence claims against Hospitals have a time limit in which you can bring them, this is known as the Limitation Period, the general rule is that Court proceedings for medical negligence must be commenced within 3 years from when you knew, or could reasonably have known that you have suffered injury as a result of the fault of another.

Following the enactment of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) in 2012, the rules determining the type of cases eligible for Legal Aid (Public Funding) were amended from the 1 April 2014.

Legal Aid is now only available to children who have suffered a neurological injury before, during or shortly after their birth. So in some cases of Hospital Negligence you could be eligible for Legal Aid funding still.

At The Roland Partnership we are one of the few firms in England and Wales authorised to apply for Legal Aid Funding for a Clinical Negligence case on your behalf.

In the absence of Legal Aid funding, or any other pre-existing cover you may have, we can offer a “No Win- No Fee” agreement. We will of course discuss this with you in detail at the time to make sure you are comfortable with the agreement, but suffice it to say that you do not need to worry if your claim is unsuccessful we will not charge you for our time nor will you be liable for your opponents costs.

We offer a free, no obligation discussion regarding your claim, as many and as lengthy as we need to establish your claim. We will discuss with you the merits of your claim and review any documentation you may have without any cost to yourself.

Please complete our enquiry form, click here or contact us on 01244 659404 or 0800 0857777.

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Testimonials

Mr L received £2,100,000 after suffering cerebal palsy as a result of medical negligence. The first liability expert had advised there was no breach of duty of care, so the case was passed on to The Roland Partnership's eminent causation expert. The defendants vigorously denied liability and The Roland Partnership's expert said it was one of the most difficult cases he had dealt with. The claim was settled shortly before trial.

An eight year old boy received £1,500,000 through The Roland Partnership after receiving serious injuries whilst waiting at a bus stop. Two cars crashed into the bus stop, causing it to collapse onto him, leaving him with personality changes and weakness on one side.

Mrs M was knocked down by a car when crossing a road. She was partly responsible for the accident, having run out into the road without first checking it was safe to do so. Nevertheless, she received over £1,100,000 after representation by The Roland Partnership.