Clinical Negligence – Making a complaint
Clinical Negligence (otherwise known as medical negligence) is the name given to legal cases or claims brought against medical professionals who have acted negligently.
For a medical professional to have acted negligently they must have breached their Duty of Care to their patient. That breach must have then caused the patient actual harm.
Medical claims can arise out of any medical treatment. this includes treatment received in accident and emergency, anesthetics cancer treatment, cardiology, general practice, keyhole surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics, paediatrics, plastic surgery, psychiatry and much more.
Doctors have been found to be in breach of their duty of care for failed or delayed diagnosis, delays in referring a patient to a specialist, failure to warn of risks in treatment, failure to obtain proper consent for treatment, and medication errors.
Why Make a Complaint
Before considering legal action, it is always advisable to consider raising a complaint with the NHS or private practitioner.
A complaint will make the medical practitioner aware of the situation and allow them the chance to address it. This can provide you with valuable insight into your treatment and could potentially resolve the situation. For example, if your goal is to obtain an apology your complaint could result in you obtaining an apology. If your goal is to prevent others from suffering the same treatment you did, your complaint could result in the medical practice changing their procedures as you make them aware of the fault.
How to Make a Complaint
To make a complaint to the NHS, it is always advisable to do so in writing. I would advise sending a letter, but remember to take a copy of your letter for your file! Better yet send an email! Private practitioners will have their own complaints procedure. You should ask to see a copy of this before you make a complaint. You should then follow the procedure carefully, keeping written records of all correspondence and telephone calls.
When drafting your complaint, you should carefully explain what has happened, including dates, times, names of those involved if you know them, as well as what was said or done. Be sure to include a paragraph explaining why you are unhappy with your treatment. Lastly, explain what you would like the outcome of your complaint to be, e.g. an apology.
What if your Not Happy with the Outcome of Your Complaint
If you are unhappy with the response you receive in regards to your complaint, or worse still if you do not receive a response and feel you would like to make a claim, then please telephone our specialist Neil Austin on 01493 856997 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we can help you.