Medical negligence is a growing problem in the UK, with trusts paying out more than ever in claims to individuals who have been seriously hurt, killed or simply had life-threatening illnesses overlooked by doctors. As such, knowing that doctors are far from infallible is going to be vital if you want to ensure you get the very best treatment and avoid the growing prospect of suffering at the hands of medical negligence.
There are many steps that individuals can take to avoid such negligence, from sourcing private health insurance to guarantee that they get the most focussed care should they have problems or need major treatment, right through to doing research on local hospitals and health trusts to see which have the best track records and which should be avoided.
Of course, such issues can never be totally avoided, and sometimes it will be simply a case of bad luck striking, but being armed with all the facts will help any individual to reduce the chances of something going seriously wrong.
Health insurance may be the best way for people to get the treatment they need when they need it and to have focussed help from doctors who are not being pressurised by shrinking budgets and growing workloads. However, such costs may not be affordable to all, and therefore it may be wise for those who cannot comfortably afford such insurance to look at the best hospitals in their region to discover which have the best track records, even down to which are rated the best for very specific departments.
This last point will be particularly relevant to those who are pregnant. Overstretched maternity units make up a huge proportion of those responsible for medical negligence claims, and therefore making sure that you know which hospital will be best to help you deliver your baby will be vital if you are expecting.
It may also be wise to choose your GP carefully too. Whilst this may not directly lead to problems in terms of negligence, it is not uncommon for apathetic doctors to overlook serious issues and fail to refer individuals to the right specialists at the right time. Furthermore, choosing a GP in the right area may boost your chances of being referred to specialists in hospitals that have a proven track record of quality care.
Since these steps cannot guarantee that all medical care you get will be as effective as it should be, it may, at some point, be necessary to claim compensation for medical negligence. If this happens to be the case, it will be extremely important to choose your representation wisely, picking specific medical negligence lawyers who have a proven track record in being able to get what is owed to those who have suffered or even died due to such negligence.
The more you know about the problem of medical negligence whilst you are fit and healthy, the easier it will be to find the right care or to deal with problems should they arise.
About the Author – Adam Howes is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to legal sites such as whatsmyclaimworth.co.uk.