What to Do if Your Child’s Medical Condition wasn’t Diagnosed
In the UK, we all expect a certain standard of care when we go the doctors, and that’s certainly true if you’re taking your child for a medical appointment. So if something goes wrong with your child’s care and they didn’t receive a diagnosis for a medical condition, it can be extremely upsetting and have serious long-term consequences.
However, there are a number of options available to you as a parent/guardian, and, of course, it’s your right to choose whichever you feel is best for you and your family.
No Diagnosis Given
There can be many reasons why your child didn’t get a diagnosis. But whilst going through the motions of different medical tests and treatments can, on the one hand, be standard practice with some conditions, medical practice isn’t a one-size-fits-all method and sometimes mistakes are made. This can have serious consequences for families that in severe cases can last a lifetime, which is devastating for all of those involved.
What Can You Do?
Firstly, you can complain to the NHS which may be useful in helping you understand what’s happened and you may also receive an apology, which may be what you’re looking for.
Every NHS service in England will have their own complaints procedure and you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will be able to assist you with your complaint. The general rule is that complaints should be made within 12 months of the incident, and you can do this in writing, verbally or by email.
If you require any support with your complaint, then you can contact the NHS Complaints Advocacy service and you can also receive support from the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman. Once your complaint has been made and investigated you’ll receive a written response.
However, if making a complaint isn’t for you, then you don’t have to make a complaint to the NHS or other healthcare professional before you proceed with a medical negligence claim. If you decide that this is the best way forward, then it’s imperative that you speak with specialist Medical Negligence Solicitor at the earliest opportunity.
Time Limits for Medical Negligence Claims
There are important time limits with medical negligence claims and how long you have to make a claim. A child under the age of 18 is unable to bring a claim for themselves as they are too young to do so. Therefore as a parent/guardian, you are able to represent your child as a Litigation Friend until they reach the age of 18, at which point the general three-year time limit to pursue a medical negligence claim starts to run and expires on their 21st birthday.
At Simpson Millar, we have a dedicated team of Medical Negligence Solicitors, some with medical backgrounds who deal with child medical negligence cases on a daily basis.
We’re happy to talk through your concerns and the next steps we can take together to help bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.
For free legal advice call our Medical Negligence Solicitors
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