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  1. Should I make a complaint about my treatment? If so, should I make it verbally or in writing?

The NHS encourage patients to make a complaint to them if a patient feels that they have been let down or have not received the treatment/outcome expected. Whilst you are able to make a complaint verbally, it is always recommended to put the complaint in writing. This ensures that the complaint is passed to the correct department and is responded to in accordance with the NHS Complaints Procedure.

  1. Will the Hospital or Doctor know about my complaint and/or claim?

The short answer here is yes. A Doctor/Hospital will be notified as soon as a Letter of Complaint is received and on occasion, the Doctor/Medical Professional involved will be asked to explain their actions to enable the Hospital to provide a detailed response.

Once a Solicitor has requested your Medical Records, they will also give the Hospital/Doctor some brief background as to the details of the claim and potential allegations of negligence.

  1. I am still receiving treatment from the Doctor involved, can they refuse my treatment?

A Doctor can not refuse to provide treatment on the basis that you have made a complaint or are pursuing a Claim against them. However, they may deem it appropriate to transfer your care to a colleague of the same Expertise, to ensure that you are happy with the treatment you will be provided and to avoid any conflict of interest.

  1. Won’t all doctors close ranks?

No- If you have genuinely received poor treatment, then there are independent experts in the relevant field who will say that, in their view, your care was sub-standard. Expert witnesses are required to be impartial and have a duty to the court, rather than the party who instructs them. This means that it is possible to obtain a genuinely independent and impartial view.

It is a common misconception that all Doctors will close rank but the NHS encourage Doctors to be open and honest through their “Duty of Candour” which is a legal duty to apologise to patients if there has been mistakes in their care that has led to significant harm. 

  1. Is there a time limit for making a claim?

Yes- you have three years from the date of the negligent act, or the date you became aware of the negligent act (date of knowledge) to issue Court Proceedings. Therefore it is important that you seek specialist advice at the earliest opportunity.

  1. How much will it cost?

We offer a first free interview where we discuss with you all the options and whether your medical negligence claim should be investigated further. If you decide to go ahead with a claim then we will advise you in detail of the funding options at the outset to allow you to make an informed decision as to whether or not you proceed. If we take your case on, we will do so on a No Win No Fee basis and if the Claim succeeds, we will not seek to take any of your compensation towards our costs.