When something goes wrong at the hospital or your GP’s office, it can have life-altering consequences. Misdiagnoses can lead you to explore treatment paths that hurt you more than help you, and mistakes during surgery can result in irreversible damages. If you feel you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you may be able to seek medical compensation to cover the damages done by your health care professional. Read this article for more information about medical negligence in the UK and how to deal with the legal proceedings of your malpractice case.
Medical malpractice has been a growing concern in the UK. In fact, over the past five years, the number of clinical negligence claims reported to the NHSLA has risen an astonishing 52 per cent from 5,697 cases in 2005/2006 to 8,655 cases in 2010/2011. Last year alone, the NHSLA shelled out a whopping £729.1 million to pay for medical damages; this represents a 12 per cent increase from damages paid in 2009/2010.
The drastic increase in the number of medical malpractice claims from 2006 to 2011 could be the reflection of a better informed public knowing their rights and taking action against recent and past injustices. But it has also led many Britons to wonder if the standard set by the GMC for good medical practice has been set too low.
If we take a look at medical malpractice cases over the past five years, we often see the same errors being committed by the same practitioners. For example, the highest number of complaints continue to be surgery (25,867 cases), obstetrics and gynaecology (13,095 cases), and medicine (12,045 cases). Furthermore, the Times reported that only 40 of the 102 doctors the GMC planned to eradicate for malpractice in 2011 were actually removed from the register.
Your Medical Malpractice Case
If you have been the victim of medical negligence, the first thing you should do is seek experienced legal aid. Medical negligence solicitors can give you advice and help you collect the information you will need to make your claim—all medical records pertaining to your case, your practitioner’s professional records, and the professional opinion of another medical expert, among other important documents. They will then either help you settle your claim with the health care professional or, if necessary, present your case on your behalf in court. Medical malpractice litigation can be a frustrating and lengthy process—about 1.28 years on average, according to the NHSLA—so you’ll want to have experienced legal counsel on your side.