Medical negligence is thankfully an uncommon occurrence in the UK, despite the rise in costs relating to claims for the NHS – but due to the limited exposure many people have to the concept, it can be difficult to know if an experience you had with your healthcare was indeed medical negligence. Here are four key signs that you may have been subject to medical negligence, and why they could be signposting problems with your care.
Your Diagnosis Was Changed by a Different Doctor
Second opinions can be a source of relief, especially if you have been seeking a resolution to your ailment for some time. However, having to seek the opinion of another healthcare professional indicates potential issues with the first – especially if that second opinion results in a differing diagnosis to the first. In the event that a correct first diagnosis would have resulted in a better healthcare outcome for you, you would have been a victim of medical negligence, and may have a viable case to put forward with a specialist medical negligence solicitor. This is because the first doctor would have failed in providing a duty of care to you, having missed a crucial diagnosis that resulted in further suffering to you.
Your Condition Hasn’t Improved, Despite Treatment
The road to recovery is often a slow one, even for simple maladies. Most of the time, it is to be expected that medication or treatment will take time before having a beneficial effect – but sometimes, if nothing happens over time, this could be an indication of improper treatment. This is especially true if you find your condition worsening despite treatment. Similarly to the previous indicator on the list, a doctor will have failed in their duty of care to you if their treatments were demonstrably unsuitable for the alleviation of your symptoms or ailment; aside from the possibility of misdiagnosing your illness, they may have prescribed you the wrong medication or the wrong dose of the right medication.
You Suffered an Injury While in Hospital
Hospital visits are already times of stress and anxiety for those required to go, and the operations and treatments provided there require preparation and aftercare from a host of practitioners and surgeons. Every now and then, something can go wrong to frustrate or complicate your stay. Injuries suffered in hospital could include an accident on the ward before or after a procedure, or even an error during an operation. Either way, if your injury was caused by inattentive staff, improper health and safety measures or mistakes made in treatment, you may have a case for a medical negligence claim.