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Your guide to practice nurse negligence

Nurse holding her head in her hand - practice nurse negligence

The quality of care practised within the nursing profession is generally very high.  It is as a result of a combination of their  highest standards of training, dedication, loyalty and the compassion that they have for their provided to patients whom they see and treat every day.

However sometimes things can go wrong...

Breach Of Duty

As a patient you expect to always receive a reasonable standard of ethical behaviour and care that "a reasonably diligent nurse would use”, and who also strives to act with “ordinary and reasonable” care. The nurse has a duty to you.

However, mistakes can still occur, which could be a “breach of duty” and may be found to be negligent if thata nurse has failed to meet that standard and that she has perform their duties as directly relating to caused  the injury or harm caused to a patient as a result.

If you feel that you or a family member have not received the proper an expected standard of care because you believe a nurse has, for example, acted in error, made an inadequate assessment, or delayed a diagnosis, you need to find out if you have a genuine claim in ase of negligence.

Our dedicated clinical negligence team at Your Legal Friend has 30 years experience in successfully resolving many different types, and sometimes, complex negligence cases.

We can help you find out if :

  • You have not been given the standard duty of care care you had right to reasonably expected
  • Access to make your complaint heard, and 
  • You have suffered and injury or loss as a result
  • Obtain legal compensation for the injury or harm suffered

Various roles of the practice nurse...

A ‘practice nurse’ works within the community as part of a team of professionals, including doctors, health visitors and therapists, and helps provide nursing care, treatment and health education to patients of all ages.

You are most likely to be seen by a practice nurse at a health centre, clinic or GP surgery.

Examples of the many various roles of a practice nurse include, a nurse who conducts a blood test at your local surgery, a post-operation care nurse, midwife, a young child’s health visitor, District Nurse and a residential home care nurse.

Among the different duties you may expect to see a practice nurse perform, are:

  • Patient consultations and examinations within surgeries/health centres
  • Running clinics for specific ailments, such as diabetes and asthma
  • Taking temperatures, blood pressures, pulses, patient samples and cervical smear/pregnancy tests
  • Diagnosing and treating illnesses/ailments
  • Treating wounds, applying and removing dressings, providing emergency first aid/treatment
  • Administering immunisation or vaccination
  • Updating patient medical records

Did you know...

  • The number of claims against practice nurses has steadily risen since 2007* 
  • One in three claims made against a nurse was due to a ‘delay in diagnosis’ *
  • One in six claims against a nurse involve failures relating to chronic disease management*
  • More than one in ten claims involving a nurse working in general practice are issues related to childhood immunisations, flu or travel vaccinations* 
  • One in fourteen complaints were received over the care of wounds, ear syringing, contraception and medication*               

                            *MPS Educational Services            

A nurse working within general practice is expected to take on additional responsibilities and, increasingly, will see patients first with a level or type of symptom or injury, which previously would have been seen by a GP.

Additional nurse roles can include chronic disease management clinics, nurse triage, family planning, and immunisation clinics. As the nursing role has expanded, there can be an increased risk of clinical negligence.

Primary claims for nursing negligence, include:

  • Failure or delay in referring a patient to GP/specialist
  • The majority of complaints of negligence can involve nurses who fail to refer the patient for further consultation and assessment, either to a medical colleague or a specialist healthcare professional.
  • Inadequate monitoring of a patient’s condition or disease progression
  • The second most common claim made against a nurse relates to a failure to monitor a person’s condition at sufficiently regular intervals or otherwise manage a patient’s chronic disease, such as diabetes, asthma, coronary heart disease and hypertension.
  • Incorrect immunisations and vaccinations
  • Nearly ten per cent of negligent claims against a nurse relate to an issue with the method  and administration of the correct drug/dose, and the schedule prescribed for flu or travel vaccinations.

Further examples of potential nursing negligence, include

  • Failing to act upon instructions given by a Doctor or not acting in accordance with approved care guidelines.
  • Use of incorrect equipment or using the right equipment incorrectly.
  • Failing to record significant information about a patient’s medical history or to take into account previously recorded history.

How Your Legal Friend can help you..

You may have good grounds for compensation Iif you feel that:

  • A nurse has failed in her duty to provide a reasonable standard of care, which would have been considered “acceptable by a reasonable body of other nurses”, and
  • You or a member of your family has suffered an injury Nursing negligence can be proven to be directly related to injury or harm that you or a member of your family has suffered. as a result.

We can help.

As experienced clinical negligence specialists, we are committed to helping you find answers both an the explanation and to access compensation to which you are entitled for a treatment of care, which fell below expected standards , it and may prevent others from suffering in a similar way.