Q&A Will bringing a Medical Negligence claim be seen as kicking the NHS when it is down? No!

We all know that NHS Trusts right across the UK have been under immense pressure since the Covid pandemic, and as a result there have been mistakes made with patient care.

But is this unprecedented pressure, and our love and respect for the staff who work in the NHS, a good enough reason to just put up with what happens to us when NHS treatment goes wrong? For sure we know that some people are reticent to make a claim for fear that they will make the NHS crisis worse. 

In the period 2020/21, a reported 12,629 clinical claims were made against the NHS, with payouts and legal costs totalling in the region of £2 billion. Whilst the largest claim sector was obstetrics, relating to pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum treatments, there was also a growing number of claims against the ambulance and other services.

So, what should you do if the NHS fails you or a loved one? Add to its financial burden by making a claim? Take it to task and hope to bring about change?

It goes without saying that when someone is ill and receiving medical attention, their safety and welfare at that time are of greater importance to them and their loved ones than taking the NHS to task and dealing with a claim. But whilst keeping a detailed account of what is happening from the first day a problem becomes apparent is essential, making a claim later on is preferable as only then will the full impact of any error become known.

Successful claims are difficult to bring as the standard of care is that of a reasonable practitioner doing that job.  But there are many guidelines and regulations that can be referred to as evidence of the standards that should be adhered to – or the approach that should be taken to treating a condition.

Ultimately most cases have involved some misunderstanding of communication – either way. Often people only need a better explanation of what happened, which can be established through obtaining the medical records or in a response to a formal complaint.

If you have experienced an issue with the NHS, you should contact a local solicitor who has experience of handling medical negligence claims, to guide you to the outcome that you are seeking to achieve.

If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter, book an appointment by visiting GHP Legal or contacting one of our offices:

Wrexham Office

Email: wrexham@ghplegal.com

Phone: 01978 291456

Llangollen Office:

Email: llangollen@ghplegal.com

Phone: 01978 860313

Oswestry Office:

Email: oswestry@ghplegal.com

Phone: 01691 659194

Robert Williams

Robert Williams

Partner and Complaints Handler

Partner and Head of the Civil Litigation, Personal Injury and Dispute Resolution team in Wrexham