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Medical misdiagnosis – is there a claim?

By Jonathan Jackson – Associate Director. Published 3 May 2018.

The local headlines in May were dominated by a news story regarding potential medical misdiagnosis by a Neurology consultant based at the Belfast Health Trust. The news reports estimated that up to 2500 patients under the consultant’s care could be affected. As a result, the Trust recalled patients to assess their condition and treatment; undoubtedly it continues to be a very anxious time for the many patients affected.

In the event of misdiagnosis, a patient may have a claim against the Health Trust.

If you find yourself in this or a similar situation, we urge you to contact the Claims team at MKB Law at your earliest opportunity to discuss potential medical negligence. Find out more below…

What is medical negligence?

If you have been left disappointed or dissatisfied with the outcome of medical treatment or advice from a doctor, dentist or other medical professional, then you may need to seek legal advice. Medical negligence constitutes any malpractice by act or omission carried out by any medical practitioner. Below is an example of the more common cases:

Misdiagnosis

Surgery

Child birth

Gynaecology

Cosmetic surgery

Failure to diagnose / refer for treatment

Lack of informed consent

Post operative management

Dental or orthodontic treatment

Contraction of MRSA or infection whilst in hospital care

What should I do?

Medical negligence is a growing area of legal practice and such is the degree of specialism required for this type of claim.

At MKB Law, we offer a specialist service in advising clients in respect of personal injuries and suffering, including those which may have been sustained as a result of medical negligence. Your first step should be to sit down with our team to discuss whether or not the injustice you have suffered justifies a claim and should be brought forward as a case.

What is involved

At your first consultation we will take detailed instructions from you of the circumstances giving rise to your initial treatment, your symptoms at the time of receiving advice, and the procedure or advice you received in order to get an understanding of your situation, this includes details of any medical treatments and records of any financial loss you have suffered.

We will then write to the practitioner with details of your claim. The practitioner is obliged by Court Rules to investigate and furnish a full response within 3 months of our letter. It is at that stage that we can determine whether negotiations are to commence or whether Court proceedings are necessary. You will be kept fully informed throughout and will retain full control of the decision-making process.

Medical evidence will be required to substantiate your claim. If you have attended hospital or your own doctor we will ask you to complete at your consultation a ‘Form of Authority’ to release hospital and/or GP notes and records to us. These will be reviewed with you, and will not be shared with anyone without your specific authority. If it becomes necessary to provide copies of GP notes and records to the other party’s insurance company or to solicitors appointed by those insurers, we take great care in agreeing with you which entries are not relevant to the claim and can therefore be withheld.

You may have to attend with a medical consultant who will be asked to prepare a report for us. Consultants are specialists in the fields of medicine in which they practice and are therefore best placed to fully assess your injuries and the extent of any recovery you will make. We are very selective in the Consultants we use to ensure the highest quality of reports and that our clients are treated with the respect they deserve.

How we can help

Possible medical or clinical negligence is a highly emotive subject; after all our health is of utmost importance. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence, and our team will endeavour to put you at ease throughout the process.

Headed by myself, the solicitors in our Claims department are adept at evaluating the evidence, engaging expert opinion where required, and providing practical and cost efficient advice. When necessary, our team has significant experience in prosecuting court actions to ensure proper redress for clients.

If you have been affected by any of the issues listed in this article, please contact our medical negligence solicitor Jonathan Jackson or his secretary Kristine Graham on 028 9024 2450 or via email: jj@mkblaw.co.uk / kg@mkblaw.co.uk

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