Monday, 23 July 2012

Guest Post: My Child, My World


According to a 2012 clinical negligence report, claims reported to the National Health Service Litigation Authority increased by more than 50% from 2005 to 2011. In fact, the field of obstetrics and gynaecology, which is where many child clinical negligence claims originate, composed 20% of all claims in 2011. The reasons for this increase are complex, but it has been reported that many of the facilities continue to engage in the same practices that initially resulted in negligence claims. While this may prove to be disheartening news to patients, the benefit of possessing this knowledge is that it enables you to steer clear of such facilities with a bit of research to prevent your child from becoming another victim.

Even more child medical negligence claims comes from the failure to diagnose common childhood sicknesses in a timely manner, as well as administering treatment improperly. Because children’s bodies are still in development and are more susceptible to illnesses, instances of clinical negligence can be more damaging and possibly create lifelong consequences.
So what should you do if you find that your child has been a victim of clinical negligence? Most parents find it difficult to remain calm in situations like these. However, here are some things to bear in mind in case it ever happens to your child.

Bring it to the physician’s attention. Even if you plan to file a claim to get medical negligence compensation, it is critical to let the physician know that you believe your child’s health is being mishandled immediately. Taking action to reverse the negligence immediately may increase your child’s chances of recovery -- an opportunity that no amount of money will give you. If you no longer trust your child’s physician with providing quality care, take him or her to a different facility.

Remember to get a copy of all of your child’s medical records. This is vital to supporting your claim. If you can demonstrate exactly what the doctor did during your child’s treatment, the court will have a better chance at juxtaposing it with what should have happened, thereby making your negligence claim easier to prove.

Don’t forget to report the incident to the NHS. If your child was treated in a public facility, remember to use the formal NHS complaints procedure to get it on record. This written submission should include any and all of the details of the incident that you can recall, which means that the sooner you do it, the better.

Take the time to find the right solicitor. Because child clinical negligence is such a unique area, you will want to find a solicitor who specialises in these kinds of cases. To help you begin your research, use outlets such as the referral panel at Action Against Medical Accidents or the Law Society to find reliable information on solicitors. The time limit on negligence claims is three years, so you have plenty of opportunity to find a solicitor you trust.

*Disclaimer: I received a payment for publishing this guest post.  


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