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Whether a patient receives treatment in an NHS or private hospital, they are entitled to expect a safe and acceptable standard of care.

Good hospital care relies on many factors, including decisions by individual clinicians, communication and effective working relationships between healthcare teams, adequate resourcing and systems to protect patient safety. Where mistakes happen which cause avoidable harm to the patient, they are entitled to compensation for their injury.

We are experienced in helping clients claim compensation for injuries caused by NHS and private hospital negligence. Our friendly medical negligence team will identify the correct defendant and exactly what went wrong, to ensure that each client is properly compensated for their injury.

What is hospital negligence?

Hospitals are busy places. Most NHS hospitals provide a range of medical services. A patient may come into the hospital at A&E (accident and emergency) and then be treated by other departments, such as radiology (for x-rays and scans), orthopaedic surgery, and pharmacy. Depending on their medical condition, they may be referred by their GP directly to a specialist department, such as maternity, cardiology (heart), or oncology (cancer).

There are often many stages to a patient’s treatment, including referral, triage (deciding on their priority for treatment), conversations, examinations, tests or investigations, interpretation of results, diagnosis, treatment, and decisions about when to admit the patient to hospital or discharge them home.  At each stage the doctor, nurse, midwife or other healthcare provider must provide care of an acceptable standard. If substandard care at any stage causes serious injury to the patient, they may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

The NHS takes responsibility for the errors of its hospital employees. Where a claim arises because a member of NHS staff in a hospital has caused an injury to a patient by providing negligent treatment or care, the NHS organisation (or trust) which employs them becomes the defendant to the patient’s compensation claim. The legal claim is then defended or settled by the NHS defence organisation, NHS Resolution.

Where a patient is injured as a result of negligent private medical care, the doctor or health professional who provided the care is responsible for the consequences of their negligence, including any claims. They will usually be represented by their own defence organisation, which will meet the cost of any successful claim. The hospital which provided the facilities or location where the treatment took place will not take responsibility for the individual doctor’s mistakes. The hospital may, however, be liable for any harm caused by their employees, facility or equipment.

When making a medical negligence claim for injury caused by private medical treatment, great care must be taken to identify and notify the correct defendant or defendants to the claim. 

What type of hospital mistakes can be medical negligence?

Hospital errors which may lead to a medical negligence claim include:

  • misdiagnosis;
  • delay in diagnosis and treatment of medical emergencies;
  • negligent maternity (antenatal, perinatal and post-natal) or neonatal care;
  • sending a patient home who needs admission, treatment (e.g. intravenous antibiotics or surgery), tests or a scan;
  • failing to examine the patient properly;
  • failing to take a proper medical history or note the patient’s symptoms;
  • failing to carry out investigations, such as x-rays, scans or blood tests;
  • misinterpretation of scans, x-rays or test results;
  • failing to monitor patients properly;
  • delaying or failing to refer the patient to an appropriate specialist for advice or treatment;
  • communication errors, (e.g. failing to recall a patient for treatment after test results);
  • surgical, anaesthetic and post-operative errors;
  • delaying or failing to recognise and treat infection;
  • medication or prescribing errors.

    What injuries caused by hospital negligence can I claim for?

    As specialist medical negligence solicitors, we have decades of experience in helping clients claim compensation for injuries caused by hospital negligence. Our clients have suffered the most catastrophic and severely disabling injuries, including:

    • cerebral palsy, birth injury and maternal injury in childbirth;
    • brain damage and neurological injury from neonatal (newborn) and paediatric (child) care errors;
    • brain injury and severe disability from untreated head injury, stroke, and intra-cranial (within the skull) bleeding, such as subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) and subdural haemorrhage (SDH);
    • meningitis, septicaemia and sepsis-related brain injury, amputation and death;
    • paralysis and severe disability from cauda equina, spinal tumours and spinal injury;
    • pain, disability, psychological/psychiatric injury and reduced lifespan from untreated cancer;
    • amputation, nerve damage and sepsis from surgical errors;
    • cardiac damage, stroke, brain injury and death from undiagnosed heart attack or embolism;
    • amputation from vascular injury and ischaemia;
    • bowel damage, peritonitis and sepsis from bowel and abdominal surgery errors;
    • anaesthetic awareness, brain injury and anaphylaxis.

    How much compensation can you get for medical negligence?

    How to make a medical negligence claim?

    How long do medical negligence claims take?

    How to fund a medical negligence claim?

    How can you prove medical negligence?
    Is there a time limit for claiming medical negligence compensation?
    Will I need to go to court to claim medical negligence compensation?

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    "I would like to say a huge thank you to Fran Rothwell"

    I would like to say a huge thank you to Fran Rothwell for the exceptional work that she has carried out on my behalf. She is knowledgeable, efficient and has great attention to detail.Fran has kept me informed throughout the entire process and has been a great support to me, always being at the end of the phone, or on an email, whenever I needed her. She truly wants the best for her client and is passionate about getting justice. Fran also has a kind and compassionate nature and takes her time to explain what is going on in a clear and simple way. This has been extremely helpful to me during a difficult time.It is certainly reassuring having such strong women behind me.

    Boyes Turner Client

    "The journey with Julie was interesting! "

    From a speculative inquiry to a life changing award, the journey with Julie Marsh was interesting. Julie kept me informed along the way explaining exactly what was going on and more importantly why. The team that was assembled certainly knew their stuff which meant I got all the necessary support to keep going. Thank you all. 

    Kevin Ridsdale

    "Successfully negotiated a full and fair compensation"

    Boyes Turner staff were always helpful and quick to respond. Communicating from the other side of the world presented no problems. Boyes Turner secured generous early interim payments that allowed me to continue my (non-funded) medical treatment that otherwise I could never have afforded. My Boyes Turner solicitor successfully negotiated a full and fair compensation and continuation of funding for future medical treatment and associated costs giving me great peace of mind. Thank you so much Annabelle! I would recommend Boyes Turner solicitors. They are professional, courteous and helpful. 

    Brian

    "More compensation than expected"

    "Boyes Turner provided us really great support and the staff are very professional & supportive. They kept us up to date at all stages and helped us win the case. We got more compensation than expected. We will definitely recommend them to our friends". 

    Boyes Turner client

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    Your explanations and advice were clear and understandable and seemed eminently sensible. Clearly they were, with the result achieved. 

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