Doctor holding clipboard- Medical Negligence

What is Medical negligence?

Medical negligence is the negligent act or omission by a hospital or health care profession which results in an injury to a patient. The negligence may be a result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management.

When can a claim be made?

A claim can be made should it come under 3 following characteristics:

There must have been a violation in the standard of care. It is acknowledged by law that there are certain medical standards recognised by health care professionals as being acceptable treatment under similar circumstances. This is known as a standard of care.  A patient has the right to expect a level of treatment that is consistent with these standards. Should the care they receive fall below this standard then there may be grounds for a claim as negligence is established.

There must have been an injury caused by negligence. For a claim to be valid there must have been injury caused by the negligence as a result of the violation in the standard of care. It is down to the patient to prove injury. An unfavourable outcome does not qualify as malpractice by itself. If there was injury caused by negligence there may be grounds for a claim. For a claim to exist there must be both negligence and injury.

There must be a significant loss resulting from the injury. For a case to warrant any damages from the medical professional that a patient is pursuing there must have been a loss. For example, should an injury result in time off work or a disability then clearly there is grounds for a claim as a financial impact to the patient has been made from the resulting injury. Other cases the loss is less apparent, and it would be advisable to seek legal advice.

Why do I need medical negligence insurance?

As a medical professional/ health care professional you continually walk along the tight rope of medical standards to ensure that you are doing the best for your patients. However, sometimes there may be an incident that happens meaning a patient doesn’t get the right treatment or a wrongful diagnosis is made. This is where you need protection.

Every medical and health care professional is in the industry because primarily they want to help people but sometimes they may get things wrong as we all do. But unfortunately, they can make mistakes as we all do. And it is the protection that is required to allow a medical professional to work in hospital as a lot of hospitals won’t take responsibility for the mistakes of an individual.

In short, every medical professional will need medical negligence (medical malpractice) insurance as it is a requirement for most hospitals that you have your own cover. Also, you need the protection to help rectify any mistakes that may occur while a medical professional is practising.


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