There are many reasons why you might choose to be treated in a private hospital rather than an NHS hospital. These include shorter waiting times to see a specialist, prompt testing and diagnosis, guaranteed treatment within an agreed timeframe and what you assume will be a higher than average standard of care. But what happens where the service you receive fails to live up to expectations and you end up leaving a private healthcare facility in a worse condition than when you entered?
In cases where your treatment can be shown to have fallen below medically accepted practice standards, and you or a loved one have been harmed as a result, then it may be possible for you to seek compensation by pursuing a claim for medical negligence, either against the hospital itself or the practitioner responsible for your care. It may also be possible for you to secure funding to pay for corrective treatment where this is an option or to cover the cost of rehabilitation therapies where these may help.
At Step Legal Solicitors, we specialise in bringing medical negligence claims against private healthcare providers and in securing appropriate recompense for those who have been affected by medical malpractice. We can help whatever the situation and whether you made a deliberate choice to seek private treatment, for example by signing up to a private healthcare plan, or you were referred into the private sector by the NHS in order to relieve pressure on public resources or to meet government targets on treatment times.
We offer a free initial consultation to assess whether a claim may be possible and, where it is, we can usually act on a no win, no fee basis so that you can pursue a claim without the need to pay anything upfront and with no obligation to pay our costs unless your claim for compensation is successful.
To find out more, please call 0800 195 6412 and ask to speak to a member of our team.
How we can help
Our highly experienced solicitors can help you to pursue a medical negligence claim where you or a loved one have been injured or fallen ill as a result of:
- delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis;
- improperly performed treatment;
- surgical errors or post-operative care mistakes;
- incorrectly administered or prescribed medication; or
- neglectful personal care.
We can also help where your treatment has not gone according to plan because a medical practitioner at a private facility has:
- failed to take a full medical history;
- failed to carry out a thorough examination;
- failed to explain treatment risks and possible side effects; or
- failed to obtain informed consent to a treatment being undertaken.
We have experience in dealing with a wide range of cases against private hospitals, private doctors and even private general practitioners, including:
- oncology negligence claims;
- orthopedic negligence claims;
- ophthalmology negligence claims;
- cardiology negligence claims;
- cosmetic surgery negligence claims;
- claims relating to nerve damage or spinal injury;
- negligence which has resulted in brain injury;
- negligence which has resulted in injury to children; and
- medical negligence which has resulted in death.
We also deal with medical negligence claims against the NHS and NHS doctors, including negligence claims against GPs and dentists, particularly where there has been an overlap in medical treatment and liability to payout on a claim may rest with an NHS healthcare provider or an NHS Trust.
What will happen if I decide to make a claim?
Once our specialist lawyers have confirmed that a claim may be possible, we will write to the private hospital at which you or your loved one were treated in order to gain access to relevant medical records and to obtain a copy of any report that may have been prepared following an internal investigation. We will also usually ask to see GP records and where necessary arrange for a physical examination or psychological assessment to be carried out to determine the extent of the harm caused.
We will also investigate the financial repercussions of what has happened to ensure that you or your loved one are reimbursed for any lost earnings you may have incurred as a result of being unable to work and to ensure that you are in a position to cover the cost of any future treatment you are likely to require, together with ongoing care costs.
Once this has been done, we will outline the nature and extent of your claim to the hospital or individual medical practitioner’s insurer and ask them to confirm whether negligence in the handling of your case is admitted and, if it is, the amount of compensation they are prepared to pay by way of recompense. Where you are struggling to cope financially, we will also ask them to make you an advance payment of your compensation while the details of your monetary settlement are negotiated and agreed.
Where negligence is denied, but we remain convinced that it did occur, it may be necessary for us to issue court proceedings in order to have your claim determined by a judge. Where this is the case, we will ensure that you are supported throughout the process and that we continue our efforts to make the insurer see sense and agree to an amicable resolution. Court proceedings may also need to be started where you and we agree that the amount of compensation being offered is woefully inadequate.
How much will I receive and how long is my claim likely to take?
It is difficult to predict how long it will take for your claim to be resolved and the level of compensation you are ultimately likely to receive, but by way of general guide the cases we handle tend to take anything from a few months to a few years to deal with and result in compensation awards of between £15,000 and upwards of £1 million,depending on the severity of the injuries suffered, whether you are expected to make a recovery and what the long term implication of your injury or illness are likely to be.
Time limit for bringing a claim
As a general rule, hospital negligence claims need to be brought within three years of the substandard care or treatment being provided or within three years of you realising that negligence may have occurred. This is unless you are bringing a claim on behalf of a child, in which case you have until the day before they turn 21 in which to make a claim, or where you are pursuing an action on behalf of someone without mental capacity, in which case you can commence a claim at any point in time.
Why choose Step Legal Solicitors?
Our lawyers are experts in their field and know what it takes to successfully pursue a private hospital medical negligence claim. This is an important thing to bear in mind given that claims against private medical providers can be significantly more complex to bring than claims against the NHS, primarily because:
- it may not be immediately clear who the claim should be issued against and investigations will need to be carried out to determine whether it should be the hospital or the individual practitioner who should be pursued, or indeed an entirely separate organisation; and
- sometimes the criteria for establishing negligence cannot be satisfied and it is therefore necessary to consider whether a claim for breach of contract can be pursued instead and which will require specialist knowledge of contract law, which not all medical negligence lawyers possess. We have the skills and experience needed to ensure that your claim is properly assessed and correctly handled, thereby increasing the likelihood of securing a good outcome and in the shortest time frame possible given the individual circumstances of your case.
We are also committed to ensuring that you and your family are supported through the entirety of the claims process and receive access to all of the help and guidance you require to get through what we understand is likely to be a very challenging time for you. And remember, this commitment does not just extend to helping you secure the maximum amount of compensation possible but also access to any further private treatment or rehabilitation therapies that you may require. We can even help to put you in contact with local and national support groups who can help you as you try to move forward.
To find out more about our private hospital negligence service, please call us now on 0800 1956412 to speak to a member of our team. Alternatively, you can fill in a client contact form, send an email to email@example.com or pop in to see us at our offices. It costs nothing to find out if a claim may be possible as we offer a free initial consultation and in the majority of cases we can also offer no win, no fee funding to make pursing a claim with us easy and affordable.
We can assist whether you are based locally in Crewe, elsewhere within the Cheshire or Staffordshire area or indeed anywhere else within England or Wales.