Q&A Should I see solicitor about botched eye op before making complaint through PALS?

Q:      Two weeks ago, I attended hospital for a routine cataract removal operation. It was mid-afternoon and the surgeon was clearly rushing to complete his patient list. During the operation I was told that there was some sort of rupture.

I was left with liquid swimming around in my eye and my eye is still painful, and my vision is blurred. I have been told I will need further surgery and I am worried about my sight. I have been advised to make a complaint through PALS, but should I see a solicitor as well?

A:       You can make a formal complaint in the first instance, through the PALS office at the NHS Trust where your operation was carried out. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) offers confidential advice and can give you information on the NHS complaints procedure.

Each hospital is different, and some NHS Trusts can offer compensation if they find that there is a ‘qualifying liability’. Others do not offer any compensation. You should check this first before making a complaint, if your objective is to recover compensation.

Making a complaint can be a helpful tool to assess the viability of a claim for compensation, as the NHS Trust must investigate your complaint thoroughly and respond to your concerns. Their response often helps shed light on what has happened.

It would be a good idea to speak to a solicitor as well, who specialises in medical negligence claims. It sounds like you may have suffered from something called  ‘capsule rupture’, which is an infrequent complication (occurring in about 1 in 50 cataract operations), but it must be very carefully managed. There may well be a case for the hospital to answer.

You should make an appointment to see a local solicitor who is experienced in dealing with these types of claims.

This question has been answered by Claire Parfitt, a Solicitor with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194 

Claire Parfitt

Claire Parfitt

Senior Solicitor

Part of our Civil Litigation, Personal Injury and Dispute Resolution team in Oswestry and Wrexham