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Health Service Ombudsman Highlights NHS Compensation Claims and Negligence

Health Service Ombudsman Highlights NHS Compensation Claims and Negligence

Making an NHS compensation claim for medical negligence

A woman under the care of a Sussex and Surrey Healthcare NHS Trust hospital received a delayed breast cancer diagnosis due to a late biopsy. In another instance of NHS failings, a woman was left in “unrelenting pain” for 15 years.

The incidents are just a two of 192 investigations from around the country summarized in a report from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

In one incident, a woman had warning signs of breast cancer. The woman involved incurred a significant delay whilst waiting for the biopsy. When it was finally taken, it showed she was suffering from the disease. Although the delay did not lead to the patient needing more aggressive treatment for her condition, it added to her stress and worry, according to the Ombudsman. The trust has since acknowledged its failings and paid £500 to the patient in recognition of her distress and worry.

The neighbouring East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust was also investigated following a complaint about the care of an elderly woman, known only as Mrs R, who was admitted to hospital with a fractured hip. Her daughter – Mrs N – complained after discovering that during her mother’s hospital stay, she suffered the symptoms of a suspected stroke, followed by a confirmed stroke four days later. Mrs N complained about the subsequent timing of Mrs R’s operation, poor communication between the hospital and Mrs R’s family, the monitoring of her mother’s condition, the care she received, failings in stroke prevention measures and poor record keeping.

While the PHSO did not agree that there was an issue with the timing of the operation, it did find shortcomings in the hospital’s record keeping and communication with the family, along with failures to adhere to the guidance in relation to the administration of medication to manage strokes and diabetes. Although it was determined that the issues did not affect Mrs R’s outcome, Mrs N was deemed to have suffered additional stress as a result. £400 in compensation was paid.

Father dies after doctors failed to treat blood poisoning

Other examples cited in the report include a child who was left in pain and discomfort for several years, with his parents even accused of child abuse for trying herbal remedies to assist their son, after the NHS declined to act appropriately to treat his acute eczema. A man died, leaving behind his young children, after NHS doctors failed to treat his blood poisoning, and a family was forced to foot a £102,000 care bill which should have been funded by the NHS.

Julie Mellor, an Ombudsman at the PHSO, said:

“In many of the complaints we see, the organisation complained about has done the right thing to put things right. But too many people aren’t getting the answers to what went wrong from the organisation they complained about.

Complaints alert people to where problems are and should be welcomed by all levels of the organisation from the frontline to the board, so that much-needed improvements are made.”

Anna Bradley, chairman of Healthwatch England, stated:

“The Ombudsman’s findings are worrying but sadly not surprising. Our research shows that three in five people who complain about health and social care services feel their complaints are not properly addressed.”

Compensation for victims of NHS negligence, misdiagnosis and poor treatment

You are entitled to expect a certain standard of treatment from those providing medical assistance to you. If this treatment falls below standard you may be entitled to recover the cost of the private medical treatment needed to correct the failings on the part of those originally treating you. Our goal at IBB Solicitors is to obtain justice for victims of the negligence by others, by securing compensation that reflects their pain and suffering, as well as related financial losses including loss of earnings, treatment costs and specialist care costs.

If you want to enquire about making a compensation claim for negligence associated with a GP,surgeon,nurse, hospital or other health facility, please contact one of our medical negligence solicitors on 01895 207835 or 01895 207295. Alternatively, please email us at PI@ibblaw.co.uk or complete our online form.