Claims For Clinical or Medical Negligence in A Hospital or Nursing Home
What is Clinical Negligence?
A claim for clinical negligence should be considered when the care that is provided by a hospital or nursing home is below the standard that you are entitled to as a patient or resident.
What is the standard you are entitled to expect?
The basic test is whether the care or treatment was of a reasonable standard. The ‘reasonable’ is difficult to define simply because there are so many possible types of care and medical treatment.
However, if the doctor made errors that no competent doctor would have made then there is the basis of a claim. Similarly if the care offered by hospital or nursing home was below that standard normally offered by a reasonably well run hospital or nursing home then there may be a claim.
It is a complex area of law simply because the range of conditions and the standards of care vary considerably.
In addition to the care or treatment not being to the required standard there must also be some resulting harm- either physically mentally or both.
By way of examples doctors have been found negligent for failure to advise of risks in treatment, failure to get proper consent to treatment and also for delayed or incorrect diagnosis of the injury or condition.
Clinical negligence extends to organisations as well as individuals, Hospitals and Nursing Homes can be found negligent if the systems they have in place to ensure proper and competent treatment are not adequate – this can cover areas such as nursing care and care offered by midwives nursing and physiotherapy staff
How do I know if I may have a claim?
Because this is such a specialist area of law you will need to obtain advice from a Solicitor like O’Neill Injury Solicitors, who deals with these claims regularly. Very often the best way forward is to make an initial formal complaint to the Health Trust or Nursing Home and depending on the response then the possibility of more formal legal action can be considered.
In most cases it will be necessary to obtain a formal report at some stage to confirm if there has been a failure to meet the standards required. Normally this will be obtained from an expert in a similar field to the one where the negligence is alleged.