CLAIMING COMPENSATION FOR MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE


Adam01Hi, I’m Adam Cresswell. I am a Legal Specialist

We can supply information on accessing experts in the medical negligence field, unfortunately we do not handle them directly ourself. Please see information below regarding the different medical bodies.

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PRIVATE TREATMENT - If you receive private treatment and are not satisfied and believe you may have a claim for medical negligence then you need to complain direct to the person and the organisation that administered that treatment. They should have their own internal medical negligence complaints procedures to hopefully resolve the problem. If not then you can refer the matter to that persons governing body. These are:

DOCTORS – The General Medical Council, 178 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5JE www.gmc-uk.org

DENTISTS – General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8QD www.gdc-uk.org

OPTICIANS – General Optical Council, 41 Harley Street, London, W1G 8DJ www.optical.org

NHS-DOCTORS-DENTISTS-OPTICIANS-PHARMACISTS – If you receive unsatisfactory treatment on the NHS from doctors, dentists, opticians or pharmacists and believe you have a claim for medical negligence then you can complain direct to the providers practice but more usually to the Family Health Service Authority.

NHS-HOSPITALS – If you have a minor medical negligence complaint or criticism about a hospital then you can refer the matter to the nurse or manager in charge of the department. If that does not resolve matters or if you have a complaint about a more serious matter, such as medical negligence, then you can write to the Chief Executive or Complaints Officer and make a formal medical negligence complaint. If the matter is not resolved then you can ask for an Independent Review for your medical negligence claim. If that fails you can refer the matter to the NHS Ombudsman.

FAMILY HEALTH SERVICE AUTHORITY –  This is an organisation that provides support and assistance to NHS Family Health Service providers such as doctors, dentists, opticians and pharmacists. If you believe you have a claim for medical negligence you can contact your nearest branch by looking it up in your local phone book. Alternatively your NHS provider will give you the details of who to complain to about the medical negligence.

LOCAL RESOLUTION – Many medical negligence complaints to the Family Health Service Authority can be resolved by using a process known as local resolution. Someone will investigate the medical negligence matter and respond usually within a few weeks. A conciliation service can sometimes also be offered. This service enables an independent person experienced in resolving medical negligence complaints to investigate your medical negligence complaint.

INDEPENDENT REVIEW – If the FHSA has investigated matters and you remain dissatisfied with your medical negligence complaint then you can ask for an Independent Review. This must be done within four weeks of the local resolution process. Your medical negligence compliant will be considered by a convener who will decide if an independent review is necessary. If it is then a review panel will be set up and will make a decision.

NHS OMBUDSMAN – The NHS Ombudsman is officially called the Health Service Commissioner. He is independent of the NHS and will investigate, free of charge, medical negligence complaints relating to NHS Authorities or Trusts. He will investigate medical negligence complaints relating to a failure to provide a service or a failure to provide a service of sufficient quality or a failure to follow proper procedures. He will not investigate medical negligence complaints relating to family doctors, dentists, opticians or pharmacists.

PATIENTS CHARTER – The Patients Charter was created in 1995 and sets out patients rights and various standards. These include your rights to: –

  • Be registered with and be able to change a G.P.
  • Receive treatment within two years of being on a waiting list.
  • Have access to your health records
  • Receive a health check on joining a G.P. practice
  • Be given respect for privacy, dignity and personal beliefs
  • Outpatients appointments to be seen within 30 minutes

If you believe any of these rights have not been followed then you may be able to make a medical negligence claim.

MEDICAL RECORDS – The Access to Medical Records Act 1990 gives you the right to see your medical records written after 1st November 1991. Access must be given within 40 days. You can see them or have copies. Free copies are provided if any records have been added in the last 40 days. For records over 40 days old a charge of £10.00 plus reasonable photocopying expenses can be made. This service is useful if you are thinking of making a medical negligence claim.

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