The breach must be directly responsible for patient injury or death. Patients must suffer damages. Without damages, there are no legal ramifications. When these four conditions have been met, the defendant is the health care provider, and the plaintiff is the patient. In cases of wrongful death, the patient’s representative becomes the plaintiff.
The National Health Service is a publicly-funded healthcare system in England. It is the largest and oldest system in the world. Funding is not provided by individual patients. Rather, this massive system is funded through a general tax program, which is similar to the way fire departments, schools, and police departments are funded.
This medical system provides a full spectrum of free services to the residents of the United Kingdom. These include primary care, dentistry, long-term care, in-patient care, out-patient services, and ophthalmology. In addition, it offers free emergency medical support to anyone within the country’s borders, regardless of nationality.
Workers in the National Health Service are bounded by the organization’s constitution. It defines the legal responsibilities and rights of staff members, the organization itself, and those who utilize its services. In addition, it defines non-binding pledges that relate to various key facets of its operations.
The organization’s core principles are based on those developed by its founders on July 5, 1948. They are grounded in the assumption that everyone deserves access to quality healthcare, regardless of income. The initial three principles focused on the ability for services to meet the needs of everyone, the services are provided free at their point of delivery, and that they are based on need, rather than the ability to pay.
In July 2000, several modifications were added to the organization’s fundamental mission. They include the ability to provide a full range of services, and that these services are adapted to the individual needs of each patient and her or his family. Another critical element is the ability to respond to the diverse needs of the country’s population. Other components focus on supporting and valuing staff members, keeping people healthy and reducing health inequalities, respecting patient confidentiality, collaborating with others to ensure the best services are provided to patients, and using public funding designated to healthcare solely for patient care. Additionally, the organization should provide access to information about treatments, performance, and services.
Many Patients Receive Excellent Care From the NHS, but Mistakes Can Be Made.
Another critical component of the organization’s mission statement is the ongoing work of its staff to enhance the quality of care and minimize errors. While many patients receive excellent care, mistakes are often made. In anticipation of this, the organization has set-aside funds to cover related expenses.
Suing the NHS
The healthcare organization has set-aside nearly eight million pounds to cover malpractice claims through 2020. Officials say that amount is about one percent of the organization’s budget. Patients file these claims when they did not receive appropriate treatment. These includes cases where medical intervention hampered healing processes, and caused additional pain and injury. Known as medical accidents, they cause more post-care problems than the patient experienced before care was provided. These are situations in which the patients did not request the intervention, are not at fault for procedures performed, and should receive compensation for damages incurred. The damages can be physical injury, extreme emotional turmoil, and death. Often, these claims can provide patients with the respect, funding, and resolutions necessary to move forward.
Neglect & Being Held Accountable
Neglectful medics, doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers must be held accountable for their actions. Reprimanding those who provide inadequate, irresponsible care can help ensure the overall quality of healthcare increases. When one patient is prevented from receiving inferior healthcare, it makes the environment better for all patients.
There are statutes of limitation on these types of claims. In general, legal suits must be initiated within three years of the malpractice incident. Medical solicitors are specialists in this field. They are available throughout the United Kingdom. Those filing claims should not be responsible for any fees. However, when cases are successful, solicitors collect their fees from the settlement awards.
Although many try to prevent it, NHS negligence does exist. Holding healthcare experts accountable for the services they provide will help ensure higher levels of service for all patients.
Can I Sue the NHS for Misdiagnosis?
This is a common question we are asked, misdiagnosis can and does happen and sometimes this is due to and can be proved as negligence.
Medical misdiagnosis a common form of clinical negligence and covers a wide range of topics. Misdiagnosis usually manifests itself in two ways.
- Completely undiagnosed – a doctor or specialist fails to spot and identify the issue at hand.
- Incorrect diagnosis. For example misreading the signs of cancer.
Read more about misdiagnosis here >>