As parents, we wish for a lifetime of health and happiness for our children. While we hope that our children will never experience any health complications, the reality is that they may one day suffer ill-health and will need medical treatment. Today I’m discussing understanding your family’s medical negligence rights. 

In the UK, we are extremely lucky to have access to the NHS and private healthcare when we, or our children, fall ill. 99% of the time, the medical and nursing treatment in the UK is outstanding, but unfortunately, there are a few cases where the level of care has fallen below acceptable standards and caused harm to families, which means they may be entitled to claim for medical negligence.

In this guide, I hope to help anyone whose family has been hurt as a result of medical negligence, to understand their rights and what to do next if they wish to take legal action. 

What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence is when a healthcare provider has failed in their duty of care to provide an acceptable level of care to us or our family.

PAtient's hand on hospital bed, with syringe. family’s medical negligence rights
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Examples of medical negligence are:

Failure to diagnose a condition

Made the wrong diagnosis

Gave the wrong medical treatment or prescription

Made a mistake during treatment

Didn’t ask for your consent 

Didn’t warn you of the risks involved.

If you, or a family member, is hurt as a result of medical negligence, the guide below will help you to understand your rights and what to do next.

Your right to speak up

As a patient, you have a right to speak up when you, or your child or partner, has been harmed as a result of medical negligence. 

It is likely that you are looking for answers and want to know how it happened and why these mistakes were made? Therefore, you have a right to contact the healthcare professional and let them know your concerns, especially if your family member is in worse pain now than they were before the treatment, or if they received inadequate care or the wrong medication. 

Doctors have a professional duty to be honest. And to explain fully what has happened and why they did what they did. So you shouldn’t feel afraid to speak up and voice your concerns.  

Woman crying to Doctor - family’s medical negligence rights
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Your right to request an apology

If the level of care you or your family has received has fallen below standard. You absolutely have a right to ask the doctor to apologise for their wrongdoing. 

Whether you are unhappy with the care or services you received. Or if there was a misdiagnosis that could have saved you and your family from harm… You can contact your doctor for an apology.

If they are reluctant to give an apology (no one likes to admit when they’re at fault). Or if you’re not sure how to request for one, a legal firm can help you.

Your right to complain

If something has gone wrong during medical treatment… Or if you are suffering from complications following the treatment, then you have a right to make a complaint.

Whether your experience was caused by the NHS or a private healthcare provider, you’ll be able to make a complaint through the provider’s complaints procedure. Again, a solicitor can guide you through the process.

Your right to take legal action

You shouldn’t be afraid to take legal action if someone is hurt as a result of medical negligence. There are many solicitors who can offer legal advice, free of charge. And guide you through the process of making a medical negligence claim and alleviate the stress. 

Hopefully, this guide on family’s medical negligence rights will help you. And give you the confidence to look for answers if you’re not happy with the level of care you received.   

Author Bio: Thompsons Solicitors has some of the best medical negligence solicitors in the UK. We successfully fight for people who have been injured and suffered injustice as a result of medical negligence. 

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