Claims for Negligence in Patient Follow Up

Is it possible to make compensation claims for negligence in patient follow up if I have been waiting more than three months for an appointment from the hospital?

Answer:

Claims for negligence in patient follow up are particularly complicated medical negligence cases as there are so many people who may be responsible for failing to arrange a patient follow up appointment. Furthermore, there is also the factor of your own contributory negligence to take into account if you have developed a health issue following a surgical procedure and waited to hear from the hospital rather than arrange an appointment to see your family doctor.

Indeed, unless you have developed a health issue related to the medical procedure you underwent there can be no claims for negligence in patient follow up as you must have suffered an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition in order to be eligible for negligent patient follow up compensation – effectively, without an injury, there can be no injury compensation.

If you have developed a health issue which you believe is attributable to negligence in patient follow up, you should speak with a medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible. The normal process for making patient follow up appointments is that you are either issued with an appointment on your discharge from hospital or one is sent to you in the post. In the event that your follow up should have been conducted in your home, a Public Health Nurse should have been in touch.

A solicitor should be able to determine where the breakdown in communications has occurred which has resulted in the lack of patient follow up and – although it may be due to an administrative error rather than medical negligence – will pursue a claim for negligence in patient follow up on your behalf – if it is established that you have a claim which is worth your while to pursue.

Compensation for negligence in patient follow up is awarded according to the extent and severity of your injury, with consideration given to the impact that your injury has made to your quality of life and any financial expenses you have incurred. However, if you have contributed to the extent of your injury by failing to seek medical attention when there was an issue with your health related to the medical procedure you underwent, you may find that your contributory negligence reduces – or even invalidates – claims for negligence in patient follow up.

Contributory negligence would not be an issue if you had received a follow up appointment and the treatment you had received in the follow up had been negligent but, as there are so many issues surrounding your entitlement to make a claim for negligent patient follow up compensation, you should discuss your individual circumstances with a medical negligence solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity.