hospital negligence

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sherry76 | 19:01 Sun 19th Aug 2007 | Law
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I would be so greatful if anybody could advise me as to what sort of chance we have in suing the NHS?-slim chance so i'm told,but if it kills me we have to give it ago.
I lost my father who died of mrsa eventually,although this wasnt on the death certificate!..he spent 7mths in intensive care and all because they mis diagnosed him!.He was down as having ulcers at this particular hospital and for four days they told him it was a water infection! and said he'd be ok,so he discharged himself,but the next night the ambulance men came out an said he's ulcer had burst!,the rest of the time was a nightmare and he died in the end on a dirty ward...i just want justice whilst i have the strength,thankyou.


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Hi sherry76
What a tragic story. So sorry what happened and wish I could be of more help, but I think because your Dad discharged himself, he signed any disclaimer against the hospital.
Bottom line would be, signing that disclaimer he released the hospital of all responsibility after he left there. The hospital will only produce that disclaimer if you take them to court.
Best to talk with a Solicitor who will advise you better. Good luck!
doctors are just people, and as such sometimes get things wrong, just as your dad got things wrong when he "discharged himself" (by that i take it you mean it wasnt the hospital who discharged him, rather that he went against medical advice)
Sometimes diagnoses arent outwardly apparent, and unless there was negligence on the part of a hospital practitioner, you dont have much chance (for example if a hospital doctor knew that the ulcer was about to burst but didnt do anything to prevent it, but i dont see how people can see into the future)
Also, you mention about having the strength to sue, but how will suing make you feel any better, bring your dad back or in anyway help the nhs improve for other people(ie they will ultimately have less money to change things, or employ more cleaners, for example if they have to pay you money)
Wouldn't it be better to contact your local patient advice and liaison office (PALS) and make a formal complaint about what you thought was wrong with your dads care, then they can take it forward and investigate, and if there is anything that cn be changed for the better for future patients they will
Speak to your local Community Health Council - they deal with any complaints against the NHS. They'll be able to advise you. Even though your dad discharged himself, you could have grounds for a complaint. You'll have to take it up with your NHS trust (the one that treated your dad) & it could go on over a long time, but look into it anyway. K xx
i would cause a huge fuss regarding the mrsa - even go to the press with the story.

as has been mentioned, if you sue the nhs, all you are doing is sapping them of much needed cash, which makes it all the more likely to happen to someone else... but the publicity, the shaming, the fuss, will encourage them to make more effort to prevent mrsa and cleanliness.

i saw a documentary which showed that despite mrsa being a super killer bug, very few staff and visitors bothered to use the antibac stuff available in all rooms and halls of the hospital - they filmed it and showed most people walked straight past - and strangely, when asked why many visitors thought they didn't have to because they were visitors! they believed the danger was within and some only used it on the way out!
they eventually placed huge floor signs all over the place reminding people - more of this sort of thing in other hospitals would be better than sueing them....i do understand why you want to though
kleiber, that answer would be perfect, if only community health councils wern't abolished in 2003
Helen Goatley may be able to help you. She's a lawyer specialising in clinical negligence. tm

The NHS is insured and that is what you are claiming against.


Best of Luck.

Hi, bedknobs -we've still got them here in Wales, I didn't realise they'd been abolished in other parts of the country.
There are quite alot of people who will help depending on what you want to do. There is another thread concerning a woman who thought a mistake would give her financial independence for the rest of her life, that of her two daughters and a few of the needy grandchildren.
But anyway the organisations which use tax payers money for complaints in the NHS are: in no particular order

The Hospital - write to the Chief Exec or medical director and complain. They have strict time rules to reply.

The Coroner - you have mentioned that there is something wrong with the death certificate. He will action that

Patients Association will hellp you complain

so will AVMA - Assoc of Victims of Medical Accidents

CHCs - community health councils are still thriving in various part of the country

NPSA National Patient Safety Agency - the dirt, squalor, and general bad service are all of interest to this

Health and Safety Exec on the MRSA side of things

Health Care commission - is concerned with sstandards in NHS hospitals

Chief Medical Cfficer - D o H, Richmond Terrace, 79 Whitehall London W1A 2AB will be interested in any safety issue

General Medical Council 357 Euston Rd London will gladly exhaustively investigate any complaint about doctors

and lastly the Nursing and Midwifery Council for the nurses.

Lastly someone has suggested a lawyer - you pay quite a lot for them - around �200/hr - the ten or so organisations above are absolutely free. There are many many organisations which will take up the cudgels on your behalf, all you have to do is write.

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