If The NHS Complaints Service Fails, Should You Make A Medical Negligence Compensation Claim?
Posted on 8th April 2020
It is the position nobody wants to be in, unhappy with the services provided by the NHS and wondering if something could have been done differently. So, as many people have done before, rather than instruct a local personal injury Solicitor to pursue a Medical Negligence Claim, you make a complaint to the Trust or Practice where you had your treatment. MG Legal, your Medical Negligence Solicitor Lancaster, are often contact by people who have made complaints and they all tell a similar story.
You wait for many months and eventually receive a vaguely worded letter apologising if their services “didn’t meet expectations” or that “lessons will be learned moving forward”. No actual information is provided, however, maybe along with other complaints, internally something is being done.
So, you look at the various NHS websites and can see little to indicate whether you were the only one, if you were one of many or if anything has been done.
Healthwatch England has published a report which states that 88% of Hospitals are meeting the requirements to publish details of complaints and how they have dealt with them. 84% of Hospitals are not publishing the required patient complaint reports and 62% are not publishing details of how any complaint was dealt with, be it a complaint relating to medical negligence, or otherwise.
The importance of a complaint
We’ve all been out for a meal and been disappointed. Most people don’t bother to complain unless something is really wrong, you simply pay your bill, leave and vote with your feet by going somewhere else next time.
With NHS treatment, you don’t have that luxury, your local hospital will always be the same. So, to have confidence in going back, you would want your complaint to have an impact. Healthwatch England carried out a survey which found four out of five people would be encouraged to make a complaint or raise an issue if they could see the positive impact of previous complaints and that, crucially, they have made a difference.
Our solicitors in Lancaster note that any complaints relating to medical negligence, are, generally, not processed through medical staff but via the Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) or from website feedback, directed to ‘behind-the-scenes’ administration staff and managers who provide responses and then feedback to senior management. So, the whole process does appear to be a somewhat sanitised one with little impact on the day to day running of the hospital.
If a complaint doesn’t work, your alternative is to make a Medical Negligence Claim
Many people who instruct MG Legal, your Medical Negligence Solicitor Lancaster, tell us that if they received a proper response to their complaint, an open apology or an explanation as to what happened, they would not have come to us to make a claim.
This is, unfortunately, the only way to guarantee a more detailed response to your issue. It is also the case that complaints generally arise from injuries, which can come in the form of abortive treatments, mistakes during procedures, missed diagnoses and poor aftercare resulting in infections or failed recovery.
A Medical Negligence Claim is ultimately a claim for money which must be answered. When presented, the claim commences the Pre-Action Protocol for Clinical Disputes and so sets a limited time on when a formal response is due. If you are not happy with the response and if offers in settlement are not forthcoming, further action can be taken including issue of County Court proceedings. In short, there will be an end to the claim one way of another.
Is there are cost in making a Medical Negligence Claim?
No, MG Legal, your Medical Negligence Solicitor Lancaster aims to accept all Medical Negligence Claims on the basis of a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement) so our legal fees are taken care of at the end of the claim. Provided you assist us in seeing your claim to a conclusion, you will not see our bill whatever the outcome.
We carry out a free-of-charge review of your allegations and your medical records before advising fully on your claim. Provided we believe there is a reasonable prospect of success, we will send you a copy of our Conditional Fee Agreement to formalise our instruction and we will then write immediately to the fault party.
How long does a Medical Negligence Claim take?
This depends largely upon your injuries and also on the response to the initial claim. The initial, formal response is due within four months of the Letter of Claim and so, usually within four to five months we should be able to advise you on this more accurately. If the claim is not disputed and your injuries can be easily quantified, the claim can be concluded within about six months.
How do I instruct MG Legal?
Contact MG Legal, your Medical Negligence Solicitor Lancaster by phone, email, web-contact form or at any of our offices in Lancaster, Garstang or Longridge. We will put you through to our specialist Personal Injury Team who will be able to discuss your case with you and get the ball rolling the same day.
MG Legal - Your Local Solicitors
Share this post: