What is Medical Negligence?

The term medical negligence (also known as clinical negligence) is usually defined as a breach of a duty of care from a health professional that has resulted in harm and loss. The NHS defines it as "a breach of duty of care by members of the health care professions employed by NHS bodies." Of course, it is also possible to bring a medical negligence claim against private healthcare providers such as private hospitals, care homes and GPs and dentists.

For there to be a valid medical negligence case the breach of care must have caused harm or damage to the patient. Medical negligence can take a number of forms such as:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Incorrect treatment
  • Surgical mistakes
  • Prescribing inappropriate medication
  • Damage to child before, during or after birth
  • Not giving a person the treatment they need
  • Not being told about the risks of a proposed treatment
  • Delay in the provision of appropriate treatment

Medical professionals have a duty of care to their patients and when this is breached it may be possible for you to claim compensation for medical negligence. The aim of a medical negligence case is to award damages (compensation) to put the injured party back in the position financially that they would have been in had it not happened. A The court is not able to change the working practice, improve care standards, make the trust or an individual apologise and cannot discipline a medical professional. A successful claim is likely to encourage those responsible to revisit their practice to prevent something similar from happening again.

When it comes to medical negligence, the burden of proof falls on the person bringing the claim. In order to have a successful claim the claimant or their solicitor will need to prove the following:

  • The healthcare professional owed a duty of care to the claimant
  • There was a breach of that duty of care
  • That the breach has caused harm to the claimant
  • Damages for injuries and other losses (such as loss of earnings) have resulted from the harm caused by the breach of care

If you wish to bring a claim against a medical professional or organisation it is highly recommended to hire an experienced medical negligence solicitor.

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Clinical Negligence

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