Private Hospitals and Public Liability Insurance
Would it surprise you to know that it is not compulsory for private hospitals to have public liability insurance? When I brought a medical negligence claim against a private hospital that didn’t have public liability insurance I was astounded to know that there was no insurance and this wasn’t illegal. Surgeons and individual doctors are required to have insurance of their own but a private hospital generally is not. This means that if medical accidents happen and it can’t easily be associated with an individual you may not be able to recover compensation.
In a claim I dealt with the Claimant suffered injury due to a prescription error following surgery. The person who made the error was not easily identifiable from the records. The surgeon who performed the surgery was not at fault. The hospital went into administration and there was no public liability insurer. Through careful and tenacious investigation my team managed to locate the individual responsible for the error and subsequently located a union that provided cover for the claim. We had a successful outcome in locating a Defendant in that particular case but it took a lot of time which would have been avoidable if the hospital had have been properly insured. Something I think a patient should be able to expect a hospital to have.
Lobby groups including the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers are briefing MPs and calling for change. This has come to the forefront again following the collapse of Thomas Cook as they were self-insured and now can’t meet the liabilities of ongoing claims. It seems outrageous that in the 21st century private companies and in particular private hospitals aren’t required to have comprehensive insurance cover for medical accidents. Perhaps even more shocking is that patients aren’t aware.
We are experts in our field and every possible avenue will be investigated to locate a Defendant, an insurer or union that can meet the costs of a medical negligence claim. However, until the law changes, if you are considering treatment from a private healthcare provider, research the providers insurance cover before you commit to treatment. In the event that the worst happens make sure the hospital can cover its liabilities.
If you are concerned that you have suffered injury following treatment in a private hospital please contact us and one of our team will be happy to discuss the matter with you.