How to Make a Medical Complaint
If you didn’t get the treatment you expected while you were in hospital, or if anything went wrong at all, you may be left unsure who to talk to or what to do. Read this guide to find out what to expect as you take your complaint further.
If you file a complaint with your hospital over the way you were treated, you won’t normally be entitled to compensation. The hospital will investigate the complaint and will respond to you; they may apologise and try to assure you that changes have been made to avoid what happened to you happening again in the future. It’s also possible that you could raise these concerns directly with the practitioner you’re unhappy with. However, if you think that you may be entitled to compensation, you can file for a medical negligence claim.
You can claim for the results directly related to the case of medical negligence. These might involve physical pain, lengthy treatments, inability to pursue an activity, loss of earnings, psychological injury and the cost of care or equipment. However, the negligence, or broken duty of care, needs to be proved. This could take the form of an incorrect or delayed diagnosis, poor surgical or nursing treatment, prescription or equipment errors, or delayed treatment. These constitute a breach in the practitioner’s duty of care over the patient.
You’ll have a local independent health complaints advocates service, who will assist you with making a complaint to the hospital, and if you’re unhappy with the response you’re given you can speak with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who will investigate your complaint. However, neither can fight for compensation. The best solution for someone with a serious complaint about the way that they’ve been treated, or the treatment itself, is to speak to a professional and experienced solicitor.
These cases are distressing for everyone involved – many involve family members who’ve been lost as well as individuals who’ve had to get used to living with a disability. Once you have a professional who’s used to dealing with these concerns working with you, then you’ve made a big step, but it’s still important to make sure you’re being supported. Is there a family member who you can talk to about the difficult details as they come out during the proceedings? Are you living alone while learning how to manage a disability, and do you know anyone who could offer you help? Make sure you’re getting the support you need, both from professionals and from family and friends.
Fighting a legal battle with a hospital or practitioner can be a long and stressful process. For example, the defendant has four months to decide how they’ll respond to the accusation of negligence. This will be a difficult time for any family or individual, and it’s important that you find the short-term help you need to get by. Having been let down by a hospital or practitioner, your life will have changed for the worse, so letting a team of solicitors take charge of the case could be helpful. It could let you focus on rebuilding and managing the difficulties of day to day life.