What is clinical negligence?

Most people will require medical support in some form during their lifetime. Clinical negligence, also known as medical negligence, occurs when a healthcare provider fails to give an adequate level of care.

Healthcare professionals and organisations have a legal duty of care towards their patients. Clinical negligence covers failures from all medical professionals, including GPs/doctors, nurses, surgeons, midwives, opticians and dentists. The consequences of such failures can be life-altering and, in some cases, even fatal.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to clinical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Driven by a desire to obtain justice for all our clients, our expert team have worked on a number of complex cases and can guide you through the process.

Get in touch today to discuss your claim.

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Most common breaches in the duty of care

Clinical negligence covers a broad spectrum of failures by medical institutions. The most common of which are:

Delayed diagnosis, missed diagnosis and delayed referral

Many illnesses and health conditions worsen over time. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can lead to missed opportunities and significantly worse health outcomes than if a condition is caught and treated earlier and appropriately.    

Careless procedures

For some health conditions, surgery may be needed. However, careless procedures can leave individuals in a worse position than before the surgery – or with an injury or illness directly caused by the operation.

Failure to warn of treatment risks

Some treatments do come with risks, and as a patient you must be told and made to fully understand these risks. Cosmetic surgery in particular sees a lot of failures in relation to this.

Medication errors

Errors in administering medication, or prescribing the wrong medication/dosage, can have disastrous consequences for a person’s health. From drug-drug interactions causing ill health or ineffectiveness to overdosing and allergic reaction, medication errors are often a serious act of negligence.

Failure to obtain proper consent

When any medical procedure takes place, it is essential that the patient has given their full and informed consent and no other procedure is performed without such consent.

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Medical negligence

Leading to lifetime care

We were instructed by the parents of a girl who was born with brain damage, leading to cerebral palsy. Her parents believed this was entirely preventable and wanted to understand how it happened. Our investigation proved this to be correct.

It was discovered that the medical staff had been negligent on a number of occasions, including administering excessive amounts of a labour‐inducing stimulant. Additionally,  a CTG trace taken of the baby’s heart rate during the later stages of labour had shown a slow heart rate ‐ yet the midwife did not seek the additional medical assistance necessary. Furthermore, medical notes taken at the time detailed that the baby’s shoulder was obstructing the labour ‐ this also should have prompted additional medical assistance being sought and an earlier labour, but it did not.

Medical experts confirmed that  if she had been born just a few minutes earlier then the baby would have made a full recovery with no lasting injuries, and had the medical staff at the time acted appropriately then she would have been born 21 minutes earlier.

As a result of this negligence, the child will require care for the rest of her life. We secured a significant seven figure sum, which will help to support her and her family with the care and therapy she needs.

Seven figure payout

Failure to obtain consent

Leading to additional scarring

We represented a gentleman who was born with Poland Syndrome – meaning he was missing a major muscle and had soft tissue damage on the left side of his chest. Our client decided to proceed with surgery to correct this defect. He consented to liposuction being performed on either the right side of his chest or his abdomen, followed by lipofilling on the left side of his chest – which would leave minimal scarring.

However, our client woke up after the surgery to find out a completely different operation had been performed. The medical staff had inexplicably (and completely without his consent) carried out a dermal fat graft which left him with a seven inch scar on his groin. Our team secured a five figure settlement for the gentleman for the completely avoidable injury.

Five figure settlement

Missed diagnosis and referral

We acted on behalf of the estate of a 68 year old diabetic man who had stubbed his toe. The toe had turned black following the minor accident and his GP referred him to hospital, where medical staff noted that there was a lack of pulse in his feet but failed to address this.

He didn’t receive any treatment until more than a month later, when the condition had significantly worsened and part of his foot had to be amputated. It is well known by medical professionals that diabetes can lead to problems with the lower limbs and diabetes is the most common cause of lower limb amputation in the UK.

Just a few weeks later, he had to return to hospital to undergo surgery to have a below the knee amputation. However, his condition sadly continued to deteriorate and he died approximately two months after his initial A&E visit. The NHS Trust involved admitted liability and we successfully obtained a settlement for his family.

Careless procedure

Causing kidney damage

Our clinical negligence team secured a six-figure sum for our client after disastrous keyhole surgery affected every aspect of his life.

Our client was left permanently scarred and forced to use a catheter after his bladder was cut during the operation. Three months after the operation, he was still in severe pain and consequently taken into hospital with a water infection – where it was discovered swabs had been left inside of his body, leading to another operation to remove them. As a result of this negligence, our client had to give up working and relies on care from others for everyday tasks

Six figure payout

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"Tracy's personality, quality of work and expertise were outstanding on all fronts. The procedure over the 3 years was a nightmare however Tracy made it all so much more bearable and hassle free. Thank you Tracy and Nigel also."

"As grieving parents it was so important that we have the support and legal representation that is going to get justice for our Son. We have been overwhelmed by the professionalism and kindness that you have shown us. We are so grateful for everything you have done."

Discuss your clinical negligence claim today

If you have an illness or health condition that you suspect was caused by negligence in the workplace, get in touch with the expert medical negligence solicitors at Verisona Law.

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