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How to Make an Complaint Following Medical Negligence*



If you or a relative have been let down by bad advice, negligent treatment or lack of action whilst under the care of a doctor or any other health professional. It is possible that you can make a claim for medical negligence.  

First things first, what is Medical Negligence? Medical negligence, also known as clinical negligence, is the term used to describe a breach of duty of care by a doctor, nurse, and or other health care professionals through medical negligence or medical malpractice. The term is used to describe a breach of duty of care by a doctor, nurse or other medical professional that leads to harm that could had been avoided.. 

There is a time limit, so you need to a complaint within 12 months of the event happening.  

Send in your complaint via recorded delivery, if posting or email addressed to the Chief Executive if it is a Health Trust or to the relevant General Practice body. 

Set out the issue in one or two pages, what are the issues that you wish to complain about, include dates as well as any pictures, and follow up appointments or written reports you have to support your complaint.

And then the health care provider are obliged to investigate and communicate with you to make sure that you have got the answers to address your complaint.  Sometimes a health provider will actually want you to come in for a meeting and that's a question for you to decide if you would want to accept the offer of a face to face meeting.  

You can insist on getting an answer in writing in the first instance, and if you believe that the initial response is not satisfactory, ask for a meeting to take place.  What you need to remember, is that you or your relative have experienced the poor care, so you need to be clear of what action you are prepared to accept as a result of your complaint, you can just wait for the decision in writing and not agree to meet them at all, it is totally up to you. 

If you decide to have the face to face meeting, bring someone with you. It can be very emotional reliving an experience of poor care, so to have a supportive friend in the meeting will be of great assistance. 

Complaints of medical negligence are sometimes lengthy, however it is an important process because it enables an investigation to take place at a very early stage and it is an opportunity for the health care provider to investigate and learn from their mistakes, if it is agreed have occurred. 

Claims of medical negligence are also noted and used to compare against other Practices and Health Trusts, and with more available information regarding data collection, Freedom of Information etc, this provides an opportunity to also ask that information about the numbers of patients or customers who have raised similar complaints against the Health Trust or Practice  

So, now that you have all the information you need to process a complaint of medical negligence, there is no reason to put it off. If you are unsure you can always contact a Solicitor who specialises in claims against the NHS, GPs, private doctors and hospitals for a free consultation

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