We’re incredibly lucky in the UK in that we have a free at the point of delivery health care system that cares for us from cradle to grave, barring dentistry and optician appointments, we are truly watched over by the hardworking employees of our 70 year old national health service.
Unfortunately though, doctors are nurses are human and with over 60million charges to care for, mistakes can happen. Admin and clerical errors, missed follow up appointments, misreadstest results; these are all things that can result in a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis.
If you have every been through a lengthy diagnostic process, you may know that sometimes through being bounced from referral to referral, information can get lost in translation or missed along the way. While it’s important to be your own advocate when it comes to your health, taking notes and always asking questions, if you are not medically trained, it’s understandable that you might not know if something vital is being missed.
A misdiagnosis can be devastating. If the prognosis is worse than originally thought, it means vital time has been wasted in terms of curing your ailment and allowing you to continue with your life.
If the prognosis is better than expected, you may have been subjected to unnecessarily aggressive treatment, sometimes making a health problem worse or resulting in missing work and life.
It’s in the latter that a misdiagnosis can bleed over into your day to life and affect your finances. While our healthcare may be free at the point of delivery, as a misdiagnosed patient, you may have missed work and lost earnings.
You may have spent more in travel to and from seeing doctors and healthcare providers. You may have paid for unnecessary prescriptions and treatments to cure an ailment you didn’t have. In extreme cases, people have had severe consequences, such as wrongfully amputated limbs or organ removal.
In these cases, it is possible to seek misdiagnosis compensation through a solicitor. Although NHS PALS does provide mediation services and a process for complaints, it can be much more helpful to go through an independent and fully trained solicitor in order to get the answers and financial compensation you deserve.