Although in recent years there is more choice for patients outside of the NHS system in the UK, private health care just isn’t affordable for most people, especially as you are already paying in to the NHS as part of your tax. The NHS does receive more complaints and claims of medical negligence than private practice, and the NHS is looking at ways to reduce these numbers to help control spiralling costs, to help patients who have suffered through no fault of their own, and to improve staff morale.
Most cases of medical negligence claims in the UK come about for reasons of misdiagnosis, medication and prescription errors and delayed care. As the majority of medical care in the UK is taken care of by the NHS it is only natural that medical negligence claims are brought against the NHS itself in high numbers. With such a large number of patients under its care, the NHS is struggling to deal with the numbers of medical negligence claims against it.
If you have suffered due to malpractice from the NHS you may feel that the only viable action you can take is to sue for medical negligence. In these cases, it is important to understand that due to the sheer size and scope of the NHS and the number of medical negligence claims being made against it, there could be delays in your case being heard. Hiring a proven medical negligence solicitor, with a good reputation, will help you to move through the processes whilst taking the stresses out of your hands.
A good medical negligence law firm will understand completely the nuances of an NHS system that is already overloaded. Even ten years ago the NHS Litigation Authority was taking on average, a year and a half, to resolve claims of medical malpractice, and as higher numbers of claims have been made by no win no fee solicitors in the interim, the backlog has continued to grow wider.
One way in which the NHS Litigation Authority has attempted to reduce medical negligence claims and the burden they place on the system is to avoid the very high associated costs of litigation. This can be achieved through settling cases out of court, with around 95% of all medical negligence cases being settled in this way in recent years. For a claimant this is not always advised as the best course of action, though each case is unique.
In a move to lower the impact of medical negligence claims, the government has put forward regulations that will restrict the number of instances where a claim for medical malpractice can be made. This new approach also aims to increase communication between the NHS and patients and offer greater transparency of the entire process. This process might take some time to get right, so in the meantime the best approach for patients who have suffered through no fault of their own is to hire professional medical negligence experts.
Summary: With the NHS currently swamped with medical negligence claims, it is clear that they need to find a solution to avoid them in the future. Read on to find out a little more on what they need to do.