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Prescription Error Compensation Claims Explained

This is our guide on prescription errors, and how they could lead to a medical negligence claim being made. This article will be covering topics such as some possible causes of prescription errors, and examples of what the impact on your health could be. To be eligible to make a medical negligence claim for prescription errors it must be proven that negligence occurred either during the prescribing of the medication, dispensing or administration of it. 

Prescription errors guide

Prescription errors claims guide

We understand that the process of making a claim like this can seem daunting, but we are here to answer any questions you may have. Speaking to us directly is the best way that we can help you. We could connect you with an expert medical negligence solicitor if we think you could be owed compensation.

Read on for more information. Below, you’ll also find how you can get in touch with us to find out if you may have a valid claim.

Select A Section

  1. What Are Prescription Errors?
  2. What Effect Could A Prescription Error Have?
  3. Types Of Prescription Errors
  4. How Could We Help You Claim For Common Prescription Errors?
  5. How Much Could I Claim For A Prescription Medication Error?
  6. Get In Touch To Make A No Win No Fee Prescription Error Claim

What Are Prescription Errors?

Prescription errors can cover a variety of circumstances. The term is used to describe any mistake made by someone working in a medical setting that affects the prescription medication intended for a particular patient. Therefore, there is no specific definition of the term.

Errors of this kind can happen in a variety of locations such as a GP surgery, dentist’s surgery, or even a hospital setting. Generally, only doctors and dentists can issue a prescription or those trained in prescribing. Although, some other healthcare professionals (such as specialist nurses) can do this too. However, errors cannot only occur when medication is being prescribed they can occur indifferent ways too.

Errors can happen at different stages such as when medication is being prescribed, when it is being dispensed or when being administrated by a medical professional.

How Common Are Prescription Errors?

According to NHS statistics, the error rate for prescription errors in NHS hospitals is indicated at 7%. In general practice, this falls to 5%. You can see how these figures line up against each other in the graph below.

Prescription errors statistics graph

Prescription errors statistics graph


What Effect Could A Prescription Error Have?

If a patient were to receive the wrong medication, there could be an adverse reaction. This is especially true if you have an allergic reaction to the errant medication that you are given. Reactions can be of varying severity. Some may be minor, but others may be quite severe or even fatal.

Alternatively, the condition that you are suffering from could worsen due to not receiving the correct medication. It’s also possible that the prescription is delivered to the wrong patient. This may not only affect the person who doesn’t receive the medication, but also the individual who receives the wrong medication.

Types Of Prescription Errors

There are different types of medication and prescriptions errors that could potentially occur

  • Wrong medication – for example, the wrong medication being administered, or prescribed.
  • Wrong patient medication – when the medication is given to the wrong person.
  • Under prescribing – when the dose is too low to treat the condition effectively.
  • Overprescribing – too high of a dose also carries a risk.

The key to making medical negligence claims for prescription errors is meeting specific criteria. You would need to satisfy the 3 below points in order to hold a valid claim;

  • You were owed a duty of care by a medical professional
  • The medical professional breached this duty, and
  • You were harmed because of this negligence,

Call our claims team to have your case evaluated today in a free no obligation consultation. They will assess the merits of your case and could connect you to our medical negligence claims specialists.

How Could We Help You Claim For Common Prescription Errors?

There are a few different things you’ll need to address if you wish to make a claim. We can advise you on them all. This section focuses on some of the key steps you’ll need to take when making claims for prescription errors.

  • Seek medical advice – your health should take priority. It’s advised that you seek treatment as soon as possible if your health has been affected.
  • Inform relevant parties – senior staff such as owners and managers of the facility where the incident took place could be notified of the error. This way, it can be investigated in an effort to reduce the chances of it happening again.
  • Gathering evidence – you can do this by acquiring things like your medical records, and taking photographs of any physical side effects of being given incorrect medication.
  • Seek legal advice – some steps may need additional information. Having an experienced solicitor by your side can help with this. Get in touch with us today and we may be able to connect you with our medical negligence solicitor .

Get in touch with our advisors today for more information. We’re here and ready to help you.

How Much Could I Claim For A Prescription Medication Error?

This section should give you a better understanding of how your compensation for injuries/illnesses sustained due to prescription errors will be calculated. The amount that’s calculated by professionals to account for the impact on your health is known as general damages. A publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is used to assist them in this process.

The value of each injury can vary depending on a number of factors. For example, more severe injuries tend to be worth more in compensation than minor ones. Recovery time is another thing that can affect how much a claim is worth.

We’ve included some example entries from the JCG below. However, this is not a complete list. The actual publication is quite extensive. So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see your injury listed below.

Injury Description Amount
Sight (c) Blindness in 1 eye, reduced vision in the other – (i) risk of further deterioration  £90,100 to £168,730
Brain Damage Very Severe Brain Damage £264,650 to £379,100
Non-Traumatic Injury (i) Severe toxicosis with long lasting symptoms. £36,060 to £49,270
Hearing (b) Total deafness £85,170 to £102,890
Respiratory  (c) Some continuing disability to the lungs £29,380 to £51,460
Bladder (b) Control/function is completely lost Up to £132,040
Female reproductive system (d) Infertility where there was no plan to have children £6,190 to £11,820
Mental anguish (E) The false expectation of death £4,380
Psychiatric damage (c) Moderate £5,500 to £17,900
Post-traumatic stress disorder (a) Severe – permanent effects £56,180 to £94,470

There can also be other amounts that can be awarded to you as part of your claim. They’re known as special damages. If you have spent or lost out on money as a result of your injuries, then you could be entitled to have them reimbursed to you. You will need to have proof of these expenditures and losses. For example, payslips and receipts are good forms of evidence.

Some losses that can be reimbursed include loss of earnings, damage to property or medical/travel expenses. 

Get in touch for more information on how special damages can be calculated.

Get In Touch To Make A No Win No Fee Prescription Error Claim

Some people may be concerned about their ability to afford the services of a solicitor. However, all of our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis. So, how does an agreement like this work?

When working with a No Win No Fee solicitor, you are only required to pay them if you are successful in your claim. Their payment is then taken from your settlement. The percentage that they take is capped by law.

If you do not succeed in being awarded compensation, then you aren’t required to pay them anything. There are no upfront costs or hidden fees to consider either.

It is permitted to make a claim without legal representation. However, when making a claim without a solicitor you are expected to complete all the work of your case. The guidance and advice that a lawyer can give you throughout the process may also help you understand certain aspects of a claim more thoroughly.

Get in touch with us today and we can let you know whether or not you could be eligible to make a No Win No Fee claim.

Quick Links

We’ve included some links below that’ll take you to additional information on this topic.

  1. Our guide on being given the wrong medication in a care home.
  2. An article on hospital negligence claims.
  3. Another of our guides on medical/clinical negligence claims.
  4. Read about how a litigation friend could claim on your behalf.
  5. Grief, bereavement and loss – an NHS guide.
  6. An NHS medication error report.

Thank you for reading our guide on claiming for injuries sustained due to prescription errors.

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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