Date: 3 September 2018
Following our interview with Trudy we wanted to address some common concerns regarding the beginnings of a claim. Back then Trudy said: ‘a lot of clients don’t realise that their claim isn’t just against the doctor; and that however good they usually are doctors still need to be held account if they make a mistake that will severely impact on someone’s life.’ Therefore this article is intended to allay fears surrounding a claim’s effect on the personal relationship between doctor and patient.
Trudy is keen to stress two things: firstly, that starting a claim, whether against a hospital or a G.P: ‘should not affect a client’s working relationship with that professional person.’ This means a claim will not disrupt any ongoing or future treatment.
Secondly, she wants people know that contacting us does not mean starting a claim straight away. ‘Initially we just help clients to get some understanding of what’s happened and why it’s happened.’ Starting a claim is just one of the options available to a client if evidence of negligence has been found.
Following on from this we thought it was important to let you know who a claim can actually be against. A lot of people worry that their claim will be against the specific doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional but things never get that personal.
If the claim is regarding a healthcare professional working for the NHS then the claim is against the hospital and dealt with by NHS Resolution (formally called the NHS Litigation Authority). The specific individual, or individuals, will only be minimally involved in the case, often just giving their own witness statement.
Things work differently for G.Ps or private
organisations, where the claim would be against the
individual or specific hospital. However, that doesn’t
mean the professional in question will be running the
entire defence. The defendants will have their own
defence team and will again be minimally involved.
In the event of a successful case the damages will be paid by the doctor’s defence union, which operates in a similar manner to an insurance company, rather than the individual.
Essentially, we want clients to know that a claim is about a specific situation rather than a specific doctor or nurse. They might be a brilliant doctor most of the time, but they can still make a mistake and you shouldn’t have to pay for it if they do.
If you, or anyone in your family, has been affected by any issues relating to medical negligence, or if you have any questions relating to the process of a claim, please call us on 01253 356051 for free advice.