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Can You Sue For Prescription Errors In Hospitals?

Welcome to our guide on claiming for prescription errors in hospitals. All staff in a hospital setting have a duty of care to the patients there. This is not just doctors, nurses, and surgeons. Certain administrative staff and pharmacists also share this responsibility to keep patients safe. If a mistake is made with their prescription then there could be a negative impact on their health.

prescription errors in hospitals

A guide to prescription errors in hospitals claims

This article will explore this topic and inform you on how to go about claiming compensation if you’ve been affected by prescribing errors in a hospital. The subject of time limits and how much you could be owed will also be addressed.

Speaking with us directly is the best way to get the advice you require. Our advisors are standing by and ready to help. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions about prescription errors in hospitals or other cases of medical negligence. Read on for more information.

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Hospital Prescription Error?
  2. Types Of Prescription Errors In Hospitals You Could Claim For
  3. How Do I Sue For Prescription Errors In Hospitals?
  4. How Long After A Prescription Error Could I Claim?
  5. What Is The Average Settlement For Prescription Errors In Hospitals?
  6. Why Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor?

What Is A Hospital Prescription Error?

Many hospital patients whether staying as an inpatient or having treatment as an outpatient may require medication being prescribed. If there is an error in the prescribing, dispensing or administration of medication this could cause the patient avoidable harm. 

Medical professional including pharmacists all owe a duty of care to the patients they agree to treat. If professional standards are deviated from this could cause a patient to experience harm they may not have otherwise gone through had the standard of care been at the correct level. Poor standard of care leading to harm that was preventable could be classed as medical negligence.

Are Prescription Errors In Hospitals Clinical Negligence?

Medical negligence (which is also known as clinical negligence), is when a medical professional provides inadequate care to a patient. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that any negative impact on your health in a hospital automatically constitutes a medical negligence claim.

For example, treatments can be discussed with you, along with the risks involved. If you opt for this treatment and the risks come to fruition, then the doctor can be said to have fulfilled their duty of care to you by warning you on the possibilities.

However, to hold a valid medical negligence claim for prescription errors you must be able to show how the medic was negligent. What actions or inactions were negligent that caused you harm. To have you case reviewed for free call our medical negligence claims team today. 

Types Of Prescription Errors In Hospitals You Could Claim For

As mentioned above, there are multiple things that could be counted as a prescription error. Some examples include:

  • Being given medication at the wrong time
  • The wrong dosage being administered (either too high or too low)
  • When medication is given to the wrong patient
  • Administration errors (incorrect labelling, for example)
  • Necessary medication not being prescribed at all (omission)

This is not an exhaustive list, just some of the more common instances. If negligence caused any of the above to take place call our team to see if you have a valid medical negligence claim. Get in touch today if you’re unsure as to whether what you encountered was a hospital prescription error. 

Could I Sue For Fatal Hospital Negligence?

Fatal medical negligence in a hospital is when a medical professional acts in such a negligent way it leads to a patient’s death. Misdiagnosis or a completely missed diagnosis could be caused by the doctor being negligent meaning that the a patient may suffer fatally because the doctor failed to diagnose them correctly. 

For example, something that started out as a treatable illness was missed because the doctor failed to order the correct tests when it was clear what was needed. Due to the lack of treatment the patients condition deteriorated leading to premature death. Therefore, a loved one could potentially make a claim on the behalf of the deceased. 

How Do I Sue For Prescription Errors In Hospitals?

You’ll also need to gather evidence to back up your claim. Medical records are a good example of this. They can show what condition you were being treated for, what conditions arose from the medical negligence and how you will be impacted in the future. 

Also collecting other evidence can help such as photographs of any visible injuries, images of any medication, a diary of the effects the prescribing errors had on you. Witness details so that they could be called upon to give a statement at a later date.

Although a solicitor is not minatory medical negligence can be complex case to prove. We would always advise having a specialist help you so that the claim process can be navigated with ease.

Call our claims team today. Through a free consultation they can tell you if your case for prescription errors is valid and whether you case has a chance of succeeding. If you want to begin the medical negligence claim process they can connect you with one of our medical negligence specialists. 

How Long After A Prescription Error Could I Claim?

As stated in the Limitation Act 1980, you generally have 3 years to start a claim of this nature. The time limit can either begin from the date of the incident or the date that you become aware of your symptoms or that your condition was caused by medical negligence. The latter is known as the date of knowledge.

However, children cannot make a claim themselves. Therefore, their time limit is frozen until their 18th birthday. Until this date, a claim can only be made on their behalf by a legally-appointed adult known as a litigation friend

If the claim involves someone with a reduced mental capacity, their time limit is also suspended. It will only begin if and when their mental capacity reaches a point where they are deemed capable to make a claim themselves. Until then, as with child cases, a litigation friend may claim on their behalf. 

How Long Could It Take To Sue A Hospital?

Each claim is unique. Because of this, there is no time frame that would be relevant to each and every medical negligence claim. Some claims can take a relatively short amount of time to reach a conclusion. Some can last much longer.

Get in touch for more information.

What Is The Average Settlement For Prescription Errors In Hospitals?

Medical negligence compensation can be broken down into two main figures. The first is known as general damages. It is awarded to the claimant to account for their injuries; both physical and mental. 

We’ve included some entries from a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) in the table below. This is what legal professionals will use to assist them in valuing a general damages payment. It’s made up of a list of injuries and a range of figures based on similar cases that have been processed in court.

Injury Description Amount
Mental anguish (E) False expectation of death £4,380
Brain damage (d) Less severe £14,380 to £40,410
Epilepsy (b) Established Petit Mal £51,460 to £123,340
Psychiatric damage (c) Moderate £5,500 to £17,900
Sight (b) Total blindness In the region of £252,180
Hearing (c) Hearing completely lost in one ear £29,380 to £42,730
Female reproductive system (c) Infertility where the patient already has children £16,860 to £34,480
Digestive system (b) illness – (iv) pains, cramps, diarrhoea £860 to £3,710
Spleen (a) Loss of spleen. £19,510 to £24,680
Bladder (a) Double incontinence loss of natural bowel function and complete loss of urinary function. Up to £172,860

You could also be awarded another sum known as special damages. This figure can reimburse you amounts of money that you have had to spend or have lost out on due to your injury or illness caused by prescription errors in hospitals.

For example:

You’ll need proof such as payslips and/or receipts to prove the financial impact your injuries have had on you.

Get in touch for more information on special damages claims.

Why Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor?

All of our solicitors work with their clients on a No Win No Fee basis. If you have a valid claim and choose to enlist their services, then this means they would work with you in the same way.

It means that you won’t have to pay them anything if your claim is unsuccessful. There are no upfront or hidden fees.

If your claim is successful when working with a No Win No Fee lawyer, then their payment is covered by them taking a small percentage of your settlement. This percentage is capped by law.

Get in touch today.

Quick References

  1. Dealing with bereavement or loss – an NHS guide.
  2. A report on prescription errors from the General Medical Council (GMC).
  3. The NHS Resolution Annual Report for 2020/21.
  4. Our general guide to medical negligence solicitors.
  5. How much you could be owed for a wrongful death claim.
  6. Another of our general articles on how to claim.

Thank you for reading our guide on prescription errors in hospitals.

Guide by Bibby

Edited By Melissa.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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