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What Are My Rights as A Patient?

Whilst the majority of medical patients receive a good quality of care, for those who do not, the effects can be devastating. Medical errors are sometimes seen as an expected risk and therefore patients do not bring medical negligence claims as they are unaware of their rights. This blog outlines your rights as a patient in the event that negligence has occurred.​

What Are My Rights as A Patient?

As a patient, whether it be at a hospital, GP practice or dental practice, it can be easy to disregard wrong doings as we place trust in the qualified professional who should have knowledge of the work they are carrying out. It is not uncommon for the patient to have no medical knowledge. Many patients will be unable to distinguish whether the pain and suffering they are experiencing is simply the symptoms of recovery or has in fact been caused by medical errors.

At Hodgkinsons Solicitors, our Medical Negligence Team encourage people to be aware of their rights to complain and the process involved to do so if they suspect that something has gone wrong. By starting the NHS complaints procedure, you can gather more information about what happened before starting legal action. You can then decide from this information whether to go ahead with bringing a medical negligence claim.

The circumstances of the negligence can often make it difficult or distressing to make a complaint. It is not uncommon for patients to feel a sense of guilt when considering legal action which is why many people suffer in silence. It is important to remember that complaints show how improvements in the NHS are achieved and that you have a legal right to complain. If you are still unsure on whether to make a claim, you can discuss your case with one of our Medical Negligence Solicitors who will offer confidential advice and support. However, you should submit your complaint as soon as possible. The approximate time limits for submitting a complaint is either 12 months of the date of the event that you are complaining about, or as soon as you found out about the problem.

If you are considering making a complaint about the medical treatment you have received, we advise that you obtain a copy of your medical records first. These will help you to prove that you experienced a damage or loss in the form of physical injury, psychological injury and any financial losses. Throughout the entire process it is important that you keep a note of the times, dates, names of people present, discussions, responses and outcomes of anything that occurs. You can raise your concern to the person in question or their superior. If you are unhappy with the outcome of this response you can then discuss it with the manager of the organisation.

The first step of the complaint’s procedure is local resolution. You can write a letter of complaint which will be addressed to the NHS Trust who manages the NHS hospital and is responsible for making sure a high-quality healthcare is provided. The complaint can be in person, or by writing or email. You should state that you are starting the complaints procedure, note any details of your problem and the names of staff members involved. Any information about previous efforts to resolve the case should be noted. You should state what outcome you would like. If you are unsure about what content to include in your letter of complaint, our Solicitors can advise you.

The Defendant Hospital will offer to discuss with you how the complaint will be handled, and the likely timescales involved. In the event that you do not want to agree with the outcome, you should instruct a Medical Negligence Solicitor to start legal investigations.

In cases where negligence has occurred, our Medical Negligence Specialists can help you. We can assist patients to seek compensation to reimburse them for the physical, psychological and financial losses they have suffered as a result of the negligence. If you have experienced medical negligence and you think you may be entitled to compensation, whether you are located in Skegness, Boston, Sleaford, Grimsby, Lincoln or beyond, contact us on 01754 897150 to discuss your claim further. Alternatively, you can start your claim online.