When somebody requires hospital treatment, which most people do at some point in their lives, they enter in to such care with good faith that the highest standards will be applied. It could be a trip to accident and emergency for a broken toe, or a 5 week stay for a serious illness, the same standards should apply. This is not always the case, and this is where a claim for negligence could be appropriate. According to the Scottish Government approximately 824,000 people used an outpatient service in 2017/18. Although the number of successful cases without incident will make up the majority, there are examples where patients end up with claims for avoidable issues. Where a claim is appropriate, the patient has 3 years to raise a claim, or 3 years from the date the complication presented itself. Our team of claim experts are on hand to help you make a claim today and win the compensation you are entitled to
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If somebody is visiting an accident and emergency, minor injuries clinic or an out of hours service, it is usually for something that can be diagnosed and treated with little to no incident. Errors in communication, clerical errors or perhaps overworked staff can lead to misdiagnosis or treatment not being administered where it should be. There have been cases where understaffed accident and emergency departments have overlooked symptoms, and the patient then deteriorates and becomes much more unwell than they would have if more time was taken to assess them. This can be particularly problematic with things such as appendicitis, sepsis, necrotising fasciitis, head injuries etc. Issues such as these are time sensitive, and can, when left to worsen, become life threatening or leave patients with severe lifelong consequences. A claim would indeed be an acceptable route to go down, but a financial pay out does not regrow lost limbs, or mute chronic pain.
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If a patient is admitted to hospital and kept in for a period of time, this can raise other avoidable issues. Hospital born infection cases have risen in recent years, and can be as a result of poor cleanliness, infections being carried unknowingly by a clinician from another patient, close proximity of patients in large hospitals etc. This could also see people with minor ailments becoming life threatening conditions. Where a hospital born infection case arises, there is also the possible knock-on effect of antibiotic resistance, dental deterioration and even immune system issues. Inadvertent negligence can also occur due to miscommunication. Patients being given penicillin despite being allergic has been recorded as a common incident within hospitals. There have also been cases where a patients file has been mixed up with another, and unnecessary treatments or medications have been administered causing distress and possibly harm to one or both parties.
It is of course in cases, such as those outlined above, to award compensation to the pursuer. Even if this is only to cover lost revenue from inability to work. It seems however, that due to the preventable nature of such things, a review of hospital procedures and perhaps an overhaul in certain areas may be necessary going forward.
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