In recent years, medical negligence cases are on the rise. This seems to be a direct effect of standards in healthcare in the NHS slipping, and people becoming more aware that if they have been on the receiving end of a case of medical negligence, they can make a claim.
Medical negligence is when you have received care that is not up to standard from a doctor or other healthcare professional. This care could directly cause injury or could be the cause an existing condition to get worse. Medical negligence can come from a number of issues including misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment or surgical mistakes.
I have experienced medical negligence myself, both through treatment I have received from a local hospital when I was pregnant with my son, and then through treatment my son received when he went into hospital for a routine operation. In my case, I was seven months pregnant when it was wrongly diagnosed that I had had a stroke. I was told this, as was my family, causing distress and heartache (I was only 34 at the time), and was initially given drugs. Hours later, another medical professional told me, correctly this time, that the paralysis I was experiencing on my face was actually due to Bells Palsy, not a stroke. The fact that I was pregnant, and was being treated with drugs for stroke could’ve led to serious implications, especially as I am also diabetic.
I was admitted to hospital, but my experience did not improve. I was left for more than 12 hours without food, despite being diabetic and needing food at regular intervals along with my insulin. I was then told to try to relax and have a whirlpool bath in order to do this. I went into the bathroom but decided against the bath as I was just too tired, only to find a nurse literally beating down a door telling me not to have the bath as it could induce labour (as I said, I was 7 months pregnant at the time). I was so distraught at the situation that I signed myself out of hospital a day later – I was just so concerned with the level of treatment I was receiving.
I did not make a claim for medical negligence, although, in hindsight, I most definitely should’ve proceeded down this route. My treatment was poor, caused undue distress and could’ve had serious implications. It is also treatment that needed to be flagged up to ensure someone else did not suffer in the same way. But making a claim and a case seemed very complicated, and with a new baby and post natal depression, it was just something I didn’t think I could handle.
If you think you may have been a victim of medical negligence, you should consult a solicitor who is experienced in the area of medical mistakes, and need to do this within a three year time limit from the date of your experience. Many solicitors offer no win, no fee, so you should not be financially restrained if you decide to proceed.
If you have suffered due to a poor level of care, someone should be accountable for this.