If you think that you may have been treated unfairly or negligently by a healthcare specialized in the United Kingdom, your first step should be to speak to the NHS Trust or local health authority and lodge an official complaint. Since the NHS-wide complaints procedure was introduced in 1996, it has been consistently shown that the resolution of complaints has failed, so it may well be the case that you need to seek resolution at a higher level.
Simply having been treated rudely or unfairly should be resolved by making a complaint in writing to the doctor or healthcare specialized who treated you, which will probably consequence in an informal meeting where you can put your point of view forward. If your claim is more serious, or if it has nevertheless not been resolved, speaking to the Patient Advisory Liaison sets should be your next step, as should speaking to the NHS Trust involved and following their established complaints procedure.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you might want to report the case to the Health Service Ombudsman, who will probe your case and report and make recommendations. This can only be done if you have gone by the NHS complaints procedure without success. Of course, if you were a private patient then you cannot go by the NHS complaints procedure and at this stage you may want to speak to a legal specialized.
If the matter has not been resolved and you consider that resolution by the courts may be the best way forward, speaking to a specialist medical negligence solicitor is vital. If there is something else which can nevertheless be done, your solicitor will be able to advise you of this and ensure that the correct processes are adhered to, ensuring that the outcome is fair to everyone involved and that justice is done according to the time of action of law and the established procedures.
the time of action can take quite some time, so it is vital that you begin it as soon as you speculate that you may have been the victim of clinical negligence. Speaking to a specialist medical negligence solicitor will ensure that you have all of the information and experience to hand and can begin your quest for justice in the best possible starting position. In particular, it’s really important that your solicitor is a genuine medical negligence specialist – the easiest way to check this, is to find out whether they are members of one of the two leading accreditation panels for medical negligence solicitors, both of which have a really tough selection policy, only picking the very best – with combined membership of the two panels restricted just to a few hundred solicitors out of more than 100,000 qualified nationwide. The two panels are run by the Law Society and by patient justice charity, AvMA [Action against Medical Accidents] – and their respective websites characterize all the names and contact details of their specialist panel solicitors.