A Guide On Making A Complaint For A Misdiagnosis

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How To Make A Complaint About A Misdiagnosis And Claim Compensation

In this guide, we will examine how to make a complaint about misdiagnosis. If you have been given the wrong diagnosis when receiving care in a medical setting, you may wonder whether you can report the incident or raise your concerns. There are several bodies that you could make a complaint to about the care you received. In doing so, it could help you understand why mistakes were made. The process you may need to follow to make your complaint may differ depending on who you direct it to. We will explore this further as we move through our guide. 

how to make a complaint about misdiagnosis

How To Make A Complaint About Misdiagnosis And Claim Compensation

Additionally, we will look at the duty of care medical professionals owe to their patients and how breaches of this duty can result in you suffering unnecessary or avoidable harm through misdiagnosis. In instances such as these, medical negligence may have occurred. We look at when it could be possible to claim compensation for the harm caused by medical negligence later on in our guide.

Furthermore, we discuss medical negligence compensation payouts to help you understand what they could include as well as how they are calculated.

At the bottom of this guide, there is a brief overview of the advantages of making your medical negligence claim with a solicitor who offers their services under a type of No Win No Fee contract.

For more information about the process of making a complaint following misdiagnosis, or potentially starting a claim for medical negligence, you can speak to our team. To do so, you can:

Browse Our Guide

  1. How To Make A Complaint About Misdiagnosis
  2. Can I Take Legal Action If My Injury Or Illness Was Misdiagnosed?
  3. Examples Of Medical Misdiagnosis
  4. What Payout Could You Claim For Misdiagnosis?
  5. Check If You Could Make A No Win No Fee Misdiagnosis Negligence Claim
  6. Learn More About How To Make A Complaint About Misdiagnosis

How To Make A Complaint About Misdiagnosis

If you’re wondering how to make a complaint about misdiagnosis, we could help. Before starting the complaints procedure, you should find out who it is you should be complaining to. The complaints process may be slightly different depending on where the complaint is being made.

However, some steps you could potentially take include contacting the healthcare provider directly to let them know you are unhappy with their service. Alternatively, there are other bodies you could submit your complaint about misdiagnosis to, including:

  • Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman: This is a body set up by Parliament to handle complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England and UK government departments. 
  • Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS): The ISCAS is a voluntary subscriber scheme for the majority of independent healthcare providers. They can handle complaints for those that subscribe to their services.
  • NHS Resolution: This is an arm’s-length body of the Department of Health and Social Care. They offer guidance to the NHS on resolving concerns or disputes in a fair manner.
  • General Medical Council (GMC): The GMC are an independent regulator for doctors in the UK. You can raise a concern about a doctor to them and they may investigate.

How We Can Help You Make A Complaint

You have the right to complain about the actions of a healthcare organisation or negligent doctor. You may also have the right to claim compensation if you meet the criteria for medical negligence claims.

To learn more about how to make a complaint about medical negligence, including incidents of misdiagnosis, call our team. They can answer any queries or concerns you have about the complaints process, and could help you submit your complaint to the relevant party. They can also assess your eligibility to seek compensation for a misdiagnosis.

Can I Take Legal Action If My Injury Or Illness Was Misdiagnosed?

Medical negligence, sometimes referred to as clinical negligence, is when medical professionals fail in their duty of care. This duty is centred on ensuring the provision of the correct standard of care and ensuring patients do not come to unnecessary or avoidable harm during the course of their treatment. 

Whilst medical professionals have a duty to provide care that meets the correct standard, the ways in which they may be expected to uphold their duty of care can differ depending on the field of medicine they work in. For example, the GMC have published ethical guidance on what constitutes good medical practice, whilst the duty of care for nurses is set out by the Royal College of Nursing.

The criteria that need to be met to have a valid medical negligence claim are: 

  1. A medical professional owed you a duty of care.
  2. There was a breach of this duty.
  3. You suffered unnecessary or avoidable harm as a result of this breach.

Time Limitations

In most cases, the time limit for starting a medical negligence claim, as set out in the Limitation Act 1980, is 3 years from the date of the medical negligence or the date of knowledge. The latter is where you should have connected the harm you experienced to a medical professional providing a level of care that was substandard.

There are circumstances in which exceptions may apply. For example, if the injured person is under 18, the 3-year limit will be counted from the day they turn 18. In a case involving a person of a reduced mental capacity, the time limit is frozen indefinitely. If they recover their mental capacity, the limit is counted from the date of recovery.

In both of these situations, a litigation friend can be appointed to act on their behalf during the claims process.

For further guidance on when you could be eligible to make a medical misdiagnosis claim, and how long you have to do so, please contact an advisor on the number above.

Examples Of Medical Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis can occur in a number of different ways. We have included some possible examples of how a misdiagnosis could occur and the effects this could have on you below.

  • A medical professional failed to correctly interpret an X-ray of your ankle, meaning your fracture was misdiagnosed as a sprain. This led to a progressive worsening of your condition, necessitating surgery to repair the fracture.
  • You have a video examination with a GP exhibiting symptoms of one condition but are misdiagnosed with a different condition and are therefore prescribed the wrong medication.
  • A scan organised to diagnose lung cancer was carried out incorrectly, resulting in you not being referred for further testing and your cancer going undiagnosed. This cancer misdiagnosis meant it was detected much later, by which time it had spread to other organs. 

In a case of misdiagnosis, your medical records can help with proving medical negligence. You have the right to request copies of your medical records.

If you are unsure how to gather evidence in support of your case, you can call our team. They may be able to connect you with a solicitor from our panel, if they find your case is valid.

Additionally, they can offer further guidance on how to make a complaint about a misdiagnosis.

What Payout Could You Claim For Misdiagnosis?

A successful compensation payout can be made up of two heads of claim. The first of these, known as general damages, is awarded for the pain and suffering you have sustained because of the harm caused by medical negligence.

We have used a selection of entries from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to create the following table. The JCG is a document that contains guideline award brackets. A solicitor could use these in conjunction with any medical evidence to calculate the value of the harm suffered.

Since medical negligence claims are assessed individually, this information has been included for guidance purposes only.

Compensation Table

Harm Description Amount
Bowels Total loss of natural function and dependence on colostomy. Up to £150,110
Bladder Complete loss of control and function Up to £140,660
Bladder Control is seriously impaired and there is some pain and incontinence. £63,980 to £79,930
Lung Disease Lung cancer resulting in severe pain, function impairment and an effect on quality of life. £70,030 to £97,330
Kidney Significant risk of future urinary tract infection or total loss of natural function in the kidney. Up to £63,980
Kidney Loss of one kidney with no damage to other. £30,770 to £44,880
Wrist Injuries Significant permanent disability with some useful movement remaining. £24,500 to £39,170
Ankle Injuries Fractures and torn ligaments that give rise to less serious disabilities. £13,740 to £26,590

Special Damages

Special damages, the other of the two heads of claim, can be awarded for any financial losses you incur as a result of the harm you sustained due to medical negligence. Some possible examples include:

  • Travel expenses
  • Childcare costs
  • The cost of domestic care and assistance
  • The cost of home alterations
  • Loss of income

Remember to keep any documentation, such as invoices, payslips, receipts, that illustrate your financial losses.

For a free personalised estimate of what you could potentially receive in compensation following a successful misdiagnosis claim, call our team.

Check If You Could Make A No Win No Fee Misdiagnosis Negligence Claim

Provided you meet the eligibility criteria for starting a medical negligence claim, one of our solicitors may be able to take your case. You could be offered a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), a type of No Win No Fee contract. There are generally no upfront fees, nor any fees as your claim progresses for the solicitor’s services under a CFA. You will also not have to pay the solicitor for their work in the event your claim is unsuccessful.

You will receive a compensation payout following the success of a claim. The solicitor will take a success fee as a percentage of your compensation. The percentage a solicitor can take as their success fee is legally capped and is agreed upon before your claim commences, so you will keep most of your compensation.

For more information on how to make a complaint about misdiagnosis and potentially start a compensation claim, you can speak to our team via:

Learn More About How To Make A Complaint About Misdiagnosis

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Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on how to make a complaint about misdiagnosis. Our advisors are on hand to address your queries and concerns about the procedure you may need to follow. They can also provide more information about potentially starting a medical negligence claim.

Written by Clark

Edited by Mitchell

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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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