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We appreciate that for most people, contacting and instructing solicitors is a daunting and scary task. Whilst we aim to make the investigation process as easy and comfortable as possible, we appreciate that it’s easy to get caught up in legal jargon and some of the tough legal concepts, so please find a simple breakdown of the initial stages we walk you through if you think you have a potential medical negligence claim:

  1. Your first call with us

When you leave us a message on our website, fill out our enquiry form, or call us on our landline directly, we will arrange for you to speak to one of our specialists as soon as possible, certainly within 1 working day. We will not send out an invoice or ask you to pay for this initial call we arrange with you.

We will ask you to talk us through what has happened, and we may ask you some more questions to gather some more information to help us determine whether we think we can help.

We will often ask questions such as –

– Who is the injured person? Has something happened to you or are you calling on behalf of a loved one?

If you’re calling for a family member, we will need to know what your relationship with them is – such as a mum calling on behalf of their young child. If you are calling on behalf of another adult who lives independently and normally manages their own affairs, we will usually need to arrange to speak to them at some point, to make sure they give their permission and make sure that they understand about their own claim. If your loved one has passed away, we will usually ask whether you are their personal representative under Probate or a Will.

It is essential that we confirm who is the correct person to bring the claim at this point.

– Where did this take place? We will need to know about which hospitals/GP Surgeries/Dental Practices/Health Centres are involved.

We need this information so that we can obtain all of the important records at the earliest opportunity to ensure our investigations can run quickly and smoothly.

When did this happen? There are time limits placed on individuals looking to bring clinical negligence claims, so we may ask you if you can remember dates and times that things happened to try and work out when this deadline may be.  It will also help us to build a timeline of events to assist us when considering the medical records and will be the basis for a witness statement.

– Why do you believe there has been negligence? To help us set out our advice and make certain that we are considering the matters that are most important, we will ask you to tell us why you think there may be a potential claim, and we will help breakdown the tests we need to prove, and whether this fits with the requirements the law puts on people looking to bring a claim.

At Graystons, we very much work as a team and this approach is regularly used when considering new cases.  The specialist you talk to may want to discuss your enquiry with the wider team before confirming advice to you, in which case they will aim to give you a call back that same day with our advice.

 

  1. Our initial advice

We will give you a call back to advise whether we think we are able to assist with your enquiry.

During this call we will explain the process of bringing a claim, what we need to be successful and discuss options for funding:

Duty of Care

The first test we need to show is that whoever provided care held a legal duty to do so – for doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals, this is taken as standard, so we usually don’t need to look into this in any great detail. We will usually just need to know where your treatment was and/or who provided that treatment.

Breach of Duty

To bring a medical negligence claim, we need to show that the standard of care that has been provided has fallen below a reasonable standard. It is not enough just to say that we are not happy with the care or treatment and think it could have been done differently, we need to be able to prove, eventually with medical evidence, that the care provided was so poor that a reasonable body of clinicians in that same field of medicine would agree that this should not have happened.

– Causation

‘Breach of duty’ is not enough to bring a claim, we also need to prove ‘Causation’. By this, we mean to say that as a direct result of that alleged poor care, you or your loved one has gone on to suffer additional harm or damage which could have been avoided if this poor care hadn’t have happened. We have to be able to show that the damage suffered is not just a natural progression of an existing condition or a recognised risk.

– Value

Taking into account all of the above, we then need to look at how much it would cost to investigate the claim versus how much the claim is worth in monetary terms. If we investigate and proceed to incurring costs such as having medical records sorted, commission medical expert reports, we need to be able to show to an insurer that the estimated value of a claim would outweigh the anticipated costs of investigating.

If we have considered the above tests and think that there is enough information to move on to the first steps in investigating, we will then discuss the funding options with you, and talk you through the claims process.

 

Please do give us a call on 0151 645 0055, or contact us via email – enquiries@graystons.co.uk and we will be happy to talk through any questions you might have.  

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If you are dissatisfied with the treatment that you or a family member has received from the NHS, you may wish to make a formal complaint before considering any legal action. The NHS Complaints Procedure applies to all NHS hospitals (and private hospitals if the care was under the NHS), Primary Care Trusts and any services provided for the NHS by GPs, Dentists, Opticians or Pharmacists.

The NHS Complaints Procedure is unlikely to achieve a substantial (if any) amount of compensation, but it can offer an explanation of what has happened to you, an apology and information about any changes to procedures to ensure such incidents do not occur again. Following the complaints procedure may also assist your solicitor if you are to proceed further with a potential claim.

Your complaint should be made as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after the event in question (or the date that you were first made aware of the issue). Whilst NHS organisations do have some discretion to consider a complaint made outside these time limits, this is not something to be relied upon.

Your complaint should be made in writing and addressed to the Chief Executive or Complaints Manager of the healthcare provider. You should include a chronology of events, the reason why you are complaining, any questions you have regarding your care and what result you want from the complaint – e.g. an apology, a review of the processes in place, etc

The healthcare provider must acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days. At this point they should offer you the opportunity to discuss your complaint with someone and advise you of the time frame within which you are likely to receive a formal response. If at any point there is likely to be a delay in providing your response, the healthcare provider should notify you in writing of the reason and the new time frame. Whilst there is no formal time limit for the NHS to investigate and respond to your complaint, the whole process should be discussed and agreed with you including any extensions. At the end of the investigation you should receive a formal written response.

If you are not satisfied with the response to your complaint, you can continue to try to resolve the complaint locally with the healthcare provider or you can request an Independent Review by the Health Service Ombudsman. You should make a request for an Independent Review within 12 months of receiving the care provider’s final written response to your complaint.

If you are still dissatisfied with the response to your complaint, please contact Grayston’s solicitors on 0151 645 0055  to see if we can assist you further.

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Are you in a position worse than you were before due to incorrect medical treatment or surgery? Perhaps you have been misdiagnosed or suffered with a delay in treatment impacting your health?   Do you have  a niggling feeling that you would not have been suffering as much but for this treatment?

We will need to prove that any injury that you have suffered is over and above what you would have suffered in any event.  However everybody has a legal right for such a claim to be investigated, should there be merit.

Graystons are specialists in Medical Negligence and deal with no other type of work. Contact Graystons Solicitors today so that we can have a free no obligation chat about what you have been through and to see if we can help you.

We may be able to act for you on a No Win No Fee Agreement (Conditional Fee Agreement), and possibly get you some answers to questions that your medical treatment has left you with.

 

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As reported by BBC News, it is thought that at least 8 women have suffered unnecessary harm following major surgical procedures (such as a hysterectomy) performed by a gynaecologist at Royal Derby Hospital. Specifics of the harm have not yet been provided but BBC News reports that one woman was left in agony following treatment. She is among 136 women who have been contacted by the Trust and whose care is being reviewed after the trust found that the rate of “serious complications” suffered by the women treated by this gynaecologist was higher than would ordinarily be expected.

Dr Magnus Harrison of the Trust has expressed his regret that patients had not received care of the standard they were entitled to expect. NHS England has been asked to conduct an investigation into the consultant’s work, it is hoped that this will conclude after the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you or a loved one have suffered harm because of suspected clinical negligence, one of our specialist clinical negligence solicitors would be happy to speak with you and advise you on your options, including a formal complaint and a legal claim. There is no initial charge for discussing this with us and we will talk you through your options, including how to fund a case and the possibility of a no win no fee arrangement (conditional fee agreement or CFA)”

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Distraught parents of a baby who died after suffering brain damage during his breech birth are left with unanswered questions about their son’s care. Baby Albert died as a result of hypoxic-ischemia brain injuries sustained during or slightly before his unplanned emergency breech birth at home in June 2018. An inquest heard evidence from the family regarding their concerns over the decision making by the medics and midwives at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/health/portsmouth-parents-who-lost-their-baby-in-traumatic-birth-say-inquest-does-bring-some-closure-1-9132821

At Graystons we are experienced in supporting families through the inquest process and in obtaining answers about their loved ones’ medical care. We can also advise you about the complaints procedure and any potential claim that arises, along with possible funding of that claim, either via legal aid, which may be available, or through a No Win No Fee Agreement. Please contact one of our specialist solicitors for a no obligation, free consultation for further information 0151 645 0055.

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The top cause of clinical negligence claims against the NHS is mistakes in the accident and emergency departments. In particular delays, misdiagnosis and poor treatment have become more common than in the past, overtaking orthopaedic claims. In 2017/2018 NHSR, the litigation claim handlers for the NHS, reported a 7% rise on the previous year. Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patient’s Association said ‘This reflects the crisis conditions that patients are now suffering in A&E all year round, not just in winter. These arise directly from the long-term under funding of the NHS and failures in workforce planning.’

Graystons Solicitors recognises this problem. Sadly the rise in negligence claims is very worrying as patients are suffering unnecessary harm which can have life changing consequences. Often the claims can  relate to vulnerable patients as opportunities to treat the patients are missed. We welcome a review of the problem of A&E claims announced by the NHSR as we believe the safety of patients should be paramount.