What is medical negligence?

What is medical negligence?


Medical negligence is the term for any situation or incident that makes a person more ill or injured because of a medical professional’s error. The mistake doesn’t have to have been made on purpose: even if it was a complete accident it will still be considered medical negligence, so long as the medical professional breached their duty of care.

Types of medical negligence

There are many different types of medical negligence, each one having a different impact on the person who suffers as a result. The most common forms according to medical negligence solicitors Manchester, AWH Solicitors, are:

  • Misdiagnosis: this is where a person is either not diagnosed with a condition at all so their condition goes unrecognised and untreated, or the diagnosis given is incorrect so they are treated for a different condition altogether. Misdiagnosis can be very serious and have a permanent impact on a person’s life
  • Delayed treatment: very similar to misdiagnosis, delayed treatment is where a person’s illness or injury was easily recognisable but has been overlooked by medical professionals and thus their treatment was delayed unnecessarily
  • Failure to consider patient history: a patient’s medical history should always be considered by medical professionals before they treat the patient in any way. Failing to do so means that they could put your life at risk
  • Incorrect treatment: this includes issues such as surgical mistakes and prescription or medication errors

The above types of medical negligence can occur in all areas of medicine, including, but not limited to:

  • Cosmetic surgery: if a surgeon fails to properly explain a procedure or aftercare to you, the procedure is substandard, or a defective product was used, negligence has occurred
  • Dentistry: dental negligence can include errors like receiving incorrect prescriptions, inadequate fillings or similar treatments, or having the wrong tooth extracted
  • Gynaecology: some examples of gynaecological errors include failed abortions and hysterectomies, and damage done during a cervical smear test
  • Obstetrics (pregnancy and childbirth): errors can be made which lead to the injury of the mother or baby/babies, including inaccurate scanning and monitoring, use of faulty equipment, or improper accident taken in an urgent situation
  • Eldery care in nursing homes: unfortunately, eldery people are vulnerable to suffering problems that arise from medical negligence including untreated injuries, malnutrition and dehydration

What can you do?

If you or a member of your family has been a victim of medical negligence, whether it was an accident or not, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. You can choose to take this action immediately, or make a formal complaint to the NHS or privately owned hospital where the negligence happened first, depending on how severe the issue is and how you would prefer to proceed.

In order to make a medical negligence claim you will need to seek advice and representation from specialised clinical negligence solicitors. Once you have made contact, they will gather details from you about your case and then evaluate whether it is something they could help with. If it is, they will take you on as a client and represent you until the claim is settled. 

Medical negligence claim compensation can help pay for additional treatment needed as a result of the original incident as well as covering any loss of earnings you have suffered. You should be aware that claims often take between two and three years to settle because so much evidence and so many expert opinions are necessary to gather in order to have the best chance at success.

David Lockhart