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Hospital Negligence Claims and Compensation

Mistakes are sometimes made in hospitals, particularly in busy A&E departments, and can have a big impact on your life and well-being.

A photo of Mrs Swaffield

I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much

Mrs E.Swaffield
Loughborough

Claim compensation for hospital neglect

Being admitted to hospital is often a worrying and stressful time. And can be made worse when the quality of care we receive does not meet the standard we expect. Where these instances of hospital negligence occur, you may find yourself wondering how this was allowed to happen and whether there is anything that can be done.

NHS hospitals are ranked highly in comparison to those in other developed nations around the world. But this does not mean that cases of hospital malpractice should be ignored. For many of our clients, they often resign themselves to the idea that it ‘just happens’ and that there isn’t much that they can do about it. This feeling can be worsened by the fact that the extent of their illness or injury can sometimes stop them from working or pursuing their interests, leading to financial problems and emotional distress.

CAUDA EQUINA SYNDROME CLAIMS SEPTIC ARTHRITIS CLAIMS

The most common types of hospital negligence include misdiagnosis, anaesthetic complications, surgical errors and birth injuries. All of which can have devastating effects for patients. Despite being rare, hospital neglect cases such as poor treatment and pressure sores also occur. The hectic nature of A&E can sometimes lead to patients being misdiagnosed. Even worse, there are previously reported cases where serious injuries and illnesses were not diagnosed at all, resulting in patients’ conditions deteriorating even further while they should have been receiving treatment. Bone fractures are among the most commonly misdiagnosed injuries, while conditions such as septic arthritis also occasionally go undiagnosed as a direct result of hospital negligence.

Due to the potentially life-changing nature of hospital malpractice, we never underestimate the psychological effect you may be experiencing. Our team of expert hospital negligence solicitors always does their best to provide the support their clients need. So, if your health has been affected, and you wish to seek compensation for hospital negligence and the cost of your on-going treatment and care, contact us for a free phone consultation.

The time limit on hospital negligence claims

If you believe you have a hospital negligence claim, it’s always beneficial to start the claims process as soon as possible. Your medical records and investigations will be more readily available, and your ability to recall the events will be better - all of which will help when we put your case together.

According to the law, there is a three-year time limit to make a claim. This start from when you received the negligent treatment, or from your ‘date of knowledge’, when you learned that a mistake was made. Attempting to make a claim after the 3 years will often mean your case is considered ‘statute barred’ or ‘out of time’ under the Limitation Act of 1980, Section 11.

If you are unsure if you’re within this time period, you can contact us and we will advise you on your case based upon the information you provide us. AfterA this free initial phone consultation, one of our hospital negligence solicitors will study your case, getting a feel for your circumstances, the problems you’re facing and the consequences of your injury. If they feel that the hospital service you accessed didn’t do something, or missed something that they shouldn’t have, they will go on to request copies of your medical records, with your permission. We will then tell you if we believe you have a compensation claim that will succeed or not.

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With years of hospital negligence experience, our legal team has worked on a variety of cases including A&E claims, so we understand what a difficult decision it can be to claim against a hospital.Hospital negligence claims team

More importantly, we understand that victims of negligence can be left feeling incredibly vulnerable, even embarrassed. The psychological and emotional effects of hospital negligence are often just as damaging as the physical impact. 

That’s why we are committed to guiding you through every step of the claims process, making it as easy as possible for you by providing updated and reminders. We ensure your claim is handled with care and professionalism at every stage by our experienced hospital negligence lawyers, who will work alongside medical experts to guarantee the best results for you and your family.

Our medical negligence team is headed by medical lawyer Laura Morgan who has a wealth of experience in leading complicated, high-value hospital negligence cases.

If you would like us to advise you as to whether you can pursue a hospital negligence claim, please call our freephone number or submit your details via the online form and we will contact you to schedule a free initial telephone consultation. If you decide that you want to proceed with a claim, one of our hospital malpractice lawyers will be able to tell you whether you can enter into a no win no fee agreement; meaning that in the event that your claim is unsuccessful, and you have co-operated fully with us throughout, you won’t have to pay any legal costs so there’s no financial risk to you.

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The effects of medical negligence can be devastating for the individual and their families, so securing appropriate compensation for them as quickly as possible is our top priority.

Laura Morgan

Director of Medical Negligence

What our customers say

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“I found the staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous and they kept me well informed on a regular basis”

Mrs. Vora,
Loughborough

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“They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently”

Mr Dowse
Leeds

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining your medical records
Step
2
Providing your statement of what happened
Step
3
Minimising your loss
Step
4
Establishing that a breach of duty occurred
Step
5
Estabilishing the effect of the breach of duty
Step
86
Preparing your case for CourtCalculating the value of your claim
Step
7
Proving your loss
Step
68
Calculating the value of your claimPreparing your case for Court
Step
9
Attending the trial in Court
Step
10
Awarding your compensation claim

Your questions... answered

What is hospital negligence?

Hospital negligence is where a hospital, and the staff that work within it, provide you with unsuitable or substandard care which results in illness or injury that could have been prevented. This might be receiving poor treatment on a ward, being misdiagnosed, not being referred to the appropriate department or your having your symptoms missed, preventing you from being admitted for the appropriate treatment.

When trying to determine if the hospital is at fault, there are two legal precedents that are used; the first is the Bolam test – ‘A doctor is not guilty of negligence if he has acted in accordance with a practice accepted as proper by a responsible body of medical men skilled in that particular art.’ (McNair J, 1957). This is usually interpreted to mean that a hospital and its staff were not negligent if they acted as other medical institutions would have in the same circumstances. The second precedent is the Bolitho test which asks ‘what should have been done?’, instead of ‘what would the majority have done?’ like the Bolam test does.

What is A&E negligence?

Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments in NHS hospitals across England and Wales have come under increasing pressure as the population has grown and more people live longer. With nearly 24 million attendances at A&E departments within the last year (NHS England), staff are increasingly at full stretch to maintain a proper standard of care, and occasionally mistakes are made

You may have a claim for negligence at a hospital A & E department if you have good reason to believe that, as a result of your experience, you or a family member did not receive an appropriate standard of treatment resulting in an injury or illness, or the deterioration of an existing injury or illness.

The reason why you may not have received an appropriate standard of care is because a doctor or nurse:

  • Made an inadequate assessment
  • Delayed a diagnosis
  • Gave the wrong medication
  • Acted in error
  • Failed to sufficiently monitor your condition
Read less

What types of negligence can occur in a hospital?

Hospitals have to offer a massive range of treatment for a huge number of people, so there are a wide range of departments and specialties within them. While most of these departments work well and have processes in place to ensure timely and correct treatment, sometimes things can go wrong. So the types of negligence that can occur in a hospital are at least as many types of treatment it offers. However, the most common types of hospital malpractice are:

Can you sue a hospital?

Yes, although technically you might be suing the trust the hospital belongs to. If you have been misdiagnosed, suffered illness or injury, or have lost a loved one due to the actions of a hospital, then we may be able to help you with your case.

To start a claim, you can contact us for a free initial phone consultation, where we will take details of your hospital negligence incident and then pass it onto an experienced solicitor to review. After this we will let you know whether or not we can take on your case, asking your permission to request medical records and other information that will help your case.

How long do I have to make a hospital negligence claim?

You have 3 years to claim  the date you were injured, or from the date you found out something was wrong with your treatment (also known as ‘date of knowledge’). You should start the process as soon as you can so your medical files are more easily available and the events that led to your illness or injury are fresh in your mind.

Claims brought more than three  years after the ‘date of knowledge’ might be considered ‘statute barred’ or ‘out of time’ by the courts. However, there are some exceptions to this. Firstly, in cases involving children, the time limit does not begin until they turn 18, unless a parent or carer claims on their behalf. This often happens to help with costs of specialist equipment or care an injured child needs as they grow.

Secondly, in cases of hospital negligence resulting in death, the time limit does not start until that person’s date of death.

Can I make a claim against a hospital for someone who has died?

Yes, you can make a claim on behalf of someone who has passed away as a result of hospital negligence. The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 allows relatives with certain connection to the victim to pursue a claim. You may be able to claim on behalf of someone if:

  • You are the husband, wife or civil partner of the deceased
  • You lived or cohabited with the person for two years continuously
  • You are the parent, child, brother, sister, uncle or aunt of the deceased
  • You are the registered guardian of the deceased
  • You are someone who was treated as a parent or child of the person

Only one person may make a claim on behalf of the person who passed away – you cannot make multiple claims via different relations. For this reason, you should ensure that everyone agrees on who will pursue the claim on their behalf.

Can I make a no win no fee hospital negligence claim?

Yes. At Your Legal Friend, we help people who would otherwise be unable to afford a claim by offering a ‘No Win, No Fee’ claim option. This means if we agree to take on your case, that if we do not win, you will not owe us anything. However, if we do win, there will be a success fee of no more than 25% that will be paid to us, and an insurance premium. The amount of this success fee is always made clear before we move forward with your case, so there are no hidden costs.

If you’d like to know more about how we will handle costs after winning your case, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Who can I claim against?

You can make a claim against a private hospital or a public, NHS hospital. It doesn’t matter who runs or owns the hospital, they are liable for negligent treatment that took place that then caused you injury or illness. If you have concerns about who you are claiming against, we can help clarify whether the case will be brought against an individual, a department, a hospital, a trust or a company.

Can I claim for an infection caught in hospital?

Yes, if the infection is provably as a result of negligent actions by the hospital or its staff. For example, if your surgery site was not disinfected before the procedure was carried out, leading to an infection, then you’d have a strong case for a hospital negligence claim. This is because there was a clear negligent act that led to you becoming ill.

However, if you get an infection in hospital, such as MRSA, and neither you nor your medical records can pinpoint any  procedure the hospital failed to follow, you are very unlikely to make a successful claim. This is because it cannot be definitively proven that anything the staff or the hospital did directly led to your illness, even if your illness was severe.

How much hospital negligence compensation will I get?

Given the huge variation in types of claim that might be brought against a hospital, it is impossible to say what your claim might be worth without looking into your case. However, compensation could be anywhere from £1,000 to £2,000 for negligence that caused injury but won’t cause long-term harm, up to hundreds of thousands or more for negligence that caused massive harm, such as a severe disability that requires life-long, full-time care.

How do I make a complaint against a hospital?

Every hospital, run privately or by the NHS, has a complaints procedure in place. You can usually raise a complaint in the following ways:

  • Verbally
  • In writing
  • By email

The NHS has a service called the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (NHS PALS), that is designed to help you understand your treatment and address any problems straight away. NHS PALS doesn’t not deal with formal complaints, but they can give you guidance on how to complain should you wish to.

To make a complaint about a hospital you can either contact the hospital or you can contact the trust it is part of. Ideally, you should do this within 12 months of the incident. To make a formal complaint, it is best to do so in writing; this allows you to spend time collecting all of the details together and making sure they are presented well. Include details such as your full name, date of birth, NHS number, who you were treated by, the department and hospital you were treated at, when you received treatment and what was wrong with that treatment.

Once submitted, you should have an initial response to your complaint but it will take time for the hospital to investigate or submit a proper response regarding your complaint. If you’re unhappy with the amount of time it’s taking, or are unhappy with the outcome, you can also complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman or the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman for private or NHS hospitals.

Read less

Will making a complaint against my hospital affect my treatment?

You should always receive the highest standard of care possible whether you have made a complaint or not. Some people worry that staff will provide substandard care or treat them poorly because of their decision to complain, but this should never happen. If you have concerns that you are being treated badly because of a complaint, don’t be afraid to raise it as a concern with the hospital or a solicitor, if you are in contact with one.

Can I make a claim for referral waiting times?

You can only make a claim regarding referral waiting times if the waiting time was excessively over the target wait-time for your condition, and you suffered illness or injury as a result of delayed treatment. For example, if you waited an excessively long time to be referred but there was no impact on your health and well-being, then you cannot make a claim. You can, however, make a complaint to your hospital about it.

Can I make a claim for A&E waiting times?

You can only make a claim if the wait-time in A&E directly led to illness or injury to you. For example, if you arrived and were triaged by a nurse that marked your case as urgent, but you then spent hours waiting for treatment, during which time your condition worsened seriously, then you would be able to make a claim for hospital negligence.

If you waited an extraordinarily long-time in A&E, but your condition was not affected by it, then you cannot make a claim but you can submit a complaint to your hospital.

Can I make a claim for a cancelled surgery?

If the cancellation of your surgery led to your condition worsening or additional treatment being needed, then yes, you could make a claim for hospital neglect. However, this usually only applies to urgent surgery, not elective surgery. This is because urgent surgery is a procedure considered immediately necessary for your health and well-being, and if it was to be delayed you would suffer as a result. Elective surgery is scheduled surgery that is needed, but your health will not seriously decline should it be delayed.

Some surgeries are semi-elective, which mean they are necessary for your health but are not urgent. This would include a surgery to remove early-stage cancerous tissue, for example. If these types of surgery are delayed too long or cancelled repeatedly, then you may be able to claim if your health has declined as a result.

Can I sue a hospital for not treating you?

Yes, if their decision to not treat you was informed by a lack of diagnostic tests or was contrary to standard procedure, leading you to become ill or injured as a result. For example, if you told a medical professional of your symptoms but they decided you were being untruthful or exaggerating and sent you away, then your condition worsened leading you to be admitted as an emergency case, you could claim against the hospital. If something similar happened but your condition did not worsen, then it is very unlikely you could make a claim.

If it is your opinion that you should have been treated but there is no medical evidence to support your opinion, and you’ve not become ill as a result, you also do not have a claim.

What are the stats on UK A&E departments?

Recent visitor figures at A & E...

  • In 2017-18 there were 23.8million attendances at A&E, an increase on 2% on 2016-17. This is a 22% rise since 2008-09.
  • People living in the 10% most deprived areas attended A&E twice as often as the 10% living in the least deprived areas.
  • In the year 2017 to 2018, 17.2% of A&E attendances resulted in admission to hospital for admitted patient care.

Patient experience in A&E...

  • 78% of people said they felt they were treated with respect and dignity ‘all of the time’.
  • 77% of people felt the received the ‘right amount’ of information about their condition or treatment.

Waiting times in A&E…

  • In 2017-18, 88% of patient attendances spent 4 hours or less in A&E. 12% spent longer than 4 hours in A&E. The lowest it has ever been.
  • For people attending A&E between 9pm and 7am, one in five are spending over 4 hours in A&E.
Read less

What are the stats on NHS hospital services?

  • The NHS deals with over 1 million patients every 36 hours.
  • In 2015/16 10.12million operations were carried out by the NHS.
  • At the end of April 2017, there were 3.78million patients on the waiting list for treatment. 10.1% had been waiting for longer than 18 weeks. (The above three statistics are taken from here.)
  • In the year 2017 to 2018, there were 120.3million outpatient appointments made. 78.1% of these were attended and 6% (7.9million) were not attended by the patient.

What are the common types of claims for clinical negligence in A&E?

The most common error made in A&E is a failure to diagnose and treat a fracture because scans were not taken or were interpreted incorrectly.

Standards of care may also be considered unacceptable for the following reasons:

Failure to:

  • Assess patients promptly due to long waiting times.
  • Perform and/or correctly interpret diagnostic blood tests.
  • Order X rays or scans and/or to interpret them wrongly.
  • Recognise when someone is likely to harm themselves.
  • Identify the seriousness of a condition and make the wrong diagnosis.
  • Promptly arrange referrals to hospital departments, senior doctors or to inform GP’s regarding the patients visit to A&E.
  • Diagnose conditions such as fractures or ligament damage, various wounds, heart failure or strokes, appendicitis, deep vein thrombosis, haemorrhages, nerve injuries, spinal cord injuries etc.
  • Provide correct treatment, such as medication, antibiotic injections, pain relief, correct fracture support, head and neck injury support.
  • Prevent a condition from progressing to a more serious stage, especially where timing is critical or in an emergency.
  • Diagnose conditions requiring urgent care, such as ectopic pregnancy, pancreatitis, meningitis, septicaemia, aneurysms and stroke.
  • Prevent patients sustaining injuries while being moved.
  • Prevent a patient falling out of bed when being moved or in the ward.
  • Prevent a delay in treatment leading to deterioration in the patient’s condition.
  • Adequately clean or dress wounds or foreign bodies left in wounds.
  • Detect a heart attack.
  • Respond to children complaining that they feel unwell.
  • Carry out adequate examinations, tests, and scans prior to discharging patients.
  • Retain a patient who is discharged prematurely.
Read less

Hospital negligence is where a hospital, and the staff that work within it, provide you with unsuitable or substandard care which results in illness or injury that could have been prevented. This might be receiving poor treatment on a ward, being misdiagnosed, not being referred to the appropriate department or your having your symptoms missed, preventing you from being admitted for the appropriate treatment.

When trying to determine if the hospital is at fault, there are two legal precedents that are used; the first is the Bolam test – ‘A doctor is not guilty of negligence if he has acted in accordance with a practice accepted as proper by a responsible body of medical men skilled in that particular art.’ (McNair J, 1957). This is usually interpreted to mean that a hospital and its staff were not negligent if they acted as other medical institutions would have in the same circumstances. The second precedent is the Bolitho test which asks ‘what should have been done?’, instead of ‘what would the majority have done?’ like the Bolam test does.

Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments in NHS hospitals across England and Wales have come under increasing pressure as the population has grown and more people live longer. With nearly 24 million attendances at A&E departments within the last year (NHS England), staff are increasingly at full stretch to maintain a proper standard of care, and occasionally mistakes are made

You may have a claim for negligence at a hospital A & E department if you have good reason to believe that, as a result of your experience, you or a family member did not receive an appropriate standard of treatment resulting in an injury or illness, or the deterioration of an existing injury or illness.

The reason why you may not have received an appropriate standard of care is because a doctor or nurse:

  • Made an inadequate assessment
  • Delayed a diagnosis
  • Gave the wrong medication
  • Acted in error
  • Failed to sufficiently monitor your condition
Read less

Hospitals have to offer a massive range of treatment for a huge number of people, so there are a wide range of departments and specialties within them. While most of these departments work well and have processes in place to ensure timely and correct treatment, sometimes things can go wrong. So the types of negligence that can occur in a hospital are at least as many types of treatment it offers. However, the most common types of hospital malpractice are:

Yes, although technically you might be suing the trust the hospital belongs to. If you have been misdiagnosed, suffered illness or injury, or have lost a loved one due to the actions of a hospital, then we may be able to help you with your case.

To start a claim, you can contact us for a free initial phone consultation, where we will take details of your hospital negligence incident and then pass it onto an experienced solicitor to review. After this we will let you know whether or not we can take on your case, asking your permission to request medical records and other information that will help your case.

You have 3 years to claim  the date you were injured, or from the date you found out something was wrong with your treatment (also known as ‘date of knowledge’). You should start the process as soon as you can so your medical files are more easily available and the events that led to your illness or injury are fresh in your mind.

Claims brought more than three  years after the ‘date of knowledge’ might be considered ‘statute barred’ or ‘out of time’ by the courts. However, there are some exceptions to this. Firstly, in cases involving children, the time limit does not begin until they turn 18, unless a parent or carer claims on their behalf. This often happens to help with costs of specialist equipment or care an injured child needs as they grow.

Secondly, in cases of hospital negligence resulting in death, the time limit does not start until that person’s date of death.

Yes, you can make a claim on behalf of someone who has passed away as a result of hospital negligence. The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 allows relatives with certain connection to the victim to pursue a claim. You may be able to claim on behalf of someone if:

  • You are the husband, wife or civil partner of the deceased
  • You lived or cohabited with the person for two years continuously
  • You are the parent, child, brother, sister, uncle or aunt of the deceased
  • You are the registered guardian of the deceased
  • You are someone who was treated as a parent or child of the person

Only one person may make a claim on behalf of the person who passed away – you cannot make multiple claims via different relations. For this reason, you should ensure that everyone agrees on who will pursue the claim on their behalf.

Yes. At Your Legal Friend, we help people who would otherwise be unable to afford a claim by offering a ‘No Win, No Fee’ claim option. This means if we agree to take on your case, that if we do not win, you will not owe us anything. However, if we do win, there will be a success fee of no more than 25% that will be paid to us, and an insurance premium. The amount of this success fee is always made clear before we move forward with your case, so there are no hidden costs.

If you’d like to know more about how we will handle costs after winning your case, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

You can make a claim against a private hospital or a public, NHS hospital. It doesn’t matter who runs or owns the hospital, they are liable for negligent treatment that took place that then caused you injury or illness. If you have concerns about who you are claiming against, we can help clarify whether the case will be brought against an individual, a department, a hospital, a trust or a company.

Yes, if the infection is provably as a result of negligent actions by the hospital or its staff. For example, if your surgery site was not disinfected before the procedure was carried out, leading to an infection, then you’d have a strong case for a hospital negligence claim. This is because there was a clear negligent act that led to you becoming ill.

However, if you get an infection in hospital, such as MRSA, and neither you nor your medical records can pinpoint any  procedure the hospital failed to follow, you are very unlikely to make a successful claim. This is because it cannot be definitively proven that anything the staff or the hospital did directly led to your illness, even if your illness was severe.

Given the huge variation in types of claim that might be brought against a hospital, it is impossible to say what your claim might be worth without looking into your case. However, compensation could be anywhere from £1,000 to £2,000 for negligence that caused injury but won’t cause long-term harm, up to hundreds of thousands or more for negligence that caused massive harm, such as a severe disability that requires life-long, full-time care.

Every hospital, run privately or by the NHS, has a complaints procedure in place. You can usually raise a complaint in the following ways:

  • Verbally
  • In writing
  • By email

The NHS has a service called the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (NHS PALS), that is designed to help you understand your treatment and address any problems straight away. NHS PALS doesn’t not deal with formal complaints, but they can give you guidance on how to complain should you wish to.

To make a complaint about a hospital you can either contact the hospital or you can contact the trust it is part of. Ideally, you should do this within 12 months of the incident. To make a formal complaint, it is best to do so in writing; this allows you to spend time collecting all of the details together and making sure they are presented well. Include details such as your full name, date of birth, NHS number, who you were treated by, the department and hospital you were treated at, when you received treatment and what was wrong with that treatment.

Once submitted, you should have an initial response to your complaint but it will take time for the hospital to investigate or submit a proper response regarding your complaint. If you’re unhappy with the amount of time it’s taking, or are unhappy with the outcome, you can also complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman or the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman for private or NHS hospitals.

Read less

You should always receive the highest standard of care possible whether you have made a complaint or not. Some people worry that staff will provide substandard care or treat them poorly because of their decision to complain, but this should never happen. If you have concerns that you are being treated badly because of a complaint, don’t be afraid to raise it as a concern with the hospital or a solicitor, if you are in contact with one.

You can only make a claim regarding referral waiting times if the waiting time was excessively over the target wait-time for your condition, and you suffered illness or injury as a result of delayed treatment. For example, if you waited an excessively long time to be referred but there was no impact on your health and well-being, then you cannot make a claim. You can, however, make a complaint to your hospital about it.

You can only make a claim if the wait-time in A&E directly led to illness or injury to you. For example, if you arrived and were triaged by a nurse that marked your case as urgent, but you then spent hours waiting for treatment, during which time your condition worsened seriously, then you would be able to make a claim for hospital negligence.

If you waited an extraordinarily long-time in A&E, but your condition was not affected by it, then you cannot make a claim but you can submit a complaint to your hospital.

If the cancellation of your surgery led to your condition worsening or additional treatment being needed, then yes, you could make a claim for hospital neglect. However, this usually only applies to urgent surgery, not elective surgery. This is because urgent surgery is a procedure considered immediately necessary for your health and well-being, and if it was to be delayed you would suffer as a result. Elective surgery is scheduled surgery that is needed, but your health will not seriously decline should it be delayed.

Some surgeries are semi-elective, which mean they are necessary for your health but are not urgent. This would include a surgery to remove early-stage cancerous tissue, for example. If these types of surgery are delayed too long or cancelled repeatedly, then you may be able to claim if your health has declined as a result.

Yes, if their decision to not treat you was informed by a lack of diagnostic tests or was contrary to standard procedure, leading you to become ill or injured as a result. For example, if you told a medical professional of your symptoms but they decided you were being untruthful or exaggerating and sent you away, then your condition worsened leading you to be admitted as an emergency case, you could claim against the hospital. If something similar happened but your condition did not worsen, then it is very unlikely you could make a claim.

If it is your opinion that you should have been treated but there is no medical evidence to support your opinion, and you’ve not become ill as a result, you also do not have a claim.

Recent visitor figures at A & E...

  • In 2017-18 there were 23.8million attendances at A&E, an increase on 2% on 2016-17. This is a 22% rise since 2008-09.
  • People living in the 10% most deprived areas attended A&E twice as often as the 10% living in the least deprived areas.
  • In the year 2017 to 2018, 17.2% of A&E attendances resulted in admission to hospital for admitted patient care.

Patient experience in A&E...

  • 78% of people said they felt they were treated with respect and dignity ‘all of the time’.
  • 77% of people felt the received the ‘right amount’ of information about their condition or treatment.

Waiting times in A&E…

  • In 2017-18, 88% of patient attendances spent 4 hours or less in A&E. 12% spent longer than 4 hours in A&E. The lowest it has ever been.
  • For people attending A&E between 9pm and 7am, one in five are spending over 4 hours in A&E.
Read less
  • The NHS deals with over 1 million patients every 36 hours.
  • In 2015/16 10.12million operations were carried out by the NHS.
  • At the end of April 2017, there were 3.78million patients on the waiting list for treatment. 10.1% had been waiting for longer than 18 weeks. (The above three statistics are taken from here.)
  • In the year 2017 to 2018, there were 120.3million outpatient appointments made. 78.1% of these were attended and 6% (7.9million) were not attended by the patient.

The most common error made in A&E is a failure to diagnose and treat a fracture because scans were not taken or were interpreted incorrectly.

Standards of care may also be considered unacceptable for the following reasons:

Failure to:

  • Assess patients promptly due to long waiting times.
  • Perform and/or correctly interpret diagnostic blood tests.
  • Order X rays or scans and/or to interpret them wrongly.
  • Recognise when someone is likely to harm themselves.
  • Identify the seriousness of a condition and make the wrong diagnosis.
  • Promptly arrange referrals to hospital departments, senior doctors or to inform GP’s regarding the patients visit to A&E.
  • Diagnose conditions such as fractures or ligament damage, various wounds, heart failure or strokes, appendicitis, deep vein thrombosis, haemorrhages, nerve injuries, spinal cord injuries etc.
  • Provide correct treatment, such as medication, antibiotic injections, pain relief, correct fracture support, head and neck injury support.
  • Prevent a condition from progressing to a more serious stage, especially where timing is critical or in an emergency.
  • Diagnose conditions requiring urgent care, such as ectopic pregnancy, pancreatitis, meningitis, septicaemia, aneurysms and stroke.
  • Prevent patients sustaining injuries while being moved.
  • Prevent a patient falling out of bed when being moved or in the ward.
  • Prevent a delay in treatment leading to deterioration in the patient’s condition.
  • Adequately clean or dress wounds or foreign bodies left in wounds.
  • Detect a heart attack.
  • Respond to children complaining that they feel unwell.
  • Carry out adequate examinations, tests, and scans prior to discharging patients.
  • Retain a patient who is discharged prematurely.
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