If you’re seeking to make a medical negligence claim following a stay at hospital, it can be a little more complicated than making a claim against an individual, such as against your GP. A huge number of people will likely be involved in your care, such as hospital doctors, surgeons, nurses, head nurses, attending doctors and paramedics. Because of the number of people involved in your care, it can be difficult to identify that any one individual was negligent. Find out more here.
Claims against the NHS
Making a medical negligence claim against a member of medical staff within the NHS means that you’re actually claiming against the Hospital NHS Trust, regardless of who you are claiming against and the nature of your claim. The Hospital NHS Trust is best described as the umbrella over all NHS workers, and the defendant in your case will be listed as the Hospital NHS Trust. Depending on the Primary Care Trust that the hospital falls under and the nature of the claim, the case will either be dealt with by the Hospital NHS Trust itself, by the National Health Service Litigation Authority or by a specialist team of medical negligence solicitors.
Claims against a Private Hospital
The staff employed at a private hospital are not covered by any umbrella organization like the Hospital NHS Trust, and this means that there are a number of different factors that need to be acknowledged when making your claim. Claims against different members of staff within a private hospital operate in different ways, and the nature of the claim will differ from worker to worker and hospital to hospital. Generally, doctors at private hospitals are self-employed (not always) and they will have their own separate medical insurance, and this means that they will be listed as the defendant in the case. Nurses tend to be employed by the hospital and so the hospital will be listed as the defendant in the case, although this may not be true for all private nurses.
The hospital is also responsible for the equipment, so if you experience further illness or injury as a direct result of faulty equipment, the hospital will also be liable. Equally, the hospital is responsible for the medication within the hospital, so if you are given the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, the hospital is liable. However, your doctor will be responsible for any prescription errors. Responsibility for follow-up appointments and referrals lies with your doctor, so they will be responsible if your care falls below standard when you’ve been released from the hospital.
A number of professionals work from private hospitals, such as occupational therapists and physiotherapists. Some of these professionals will be employed by the hospital, meaning that your claim will be against the hospital, but others will be self-employed, meaning that your claim will be against them.
If you want to make a claim against a member of staff within a hospital, speak to a medical negligence solicitor. They will be able to help you identify who to make the claim against and also, who is liable. Visit pryers-solicitors.co.uk for further information.