Is it possible to claim compensation for negligence in patient follow up procedures?
The short answer is yes, it is possible to claim compensation for negligence in patient follow up procedures, but only when this has resulted in further injury, pain or suffering. A doctor has a duty of care to a patient that involves not just treating the symptoms of a disease, but with a follow up to make sure that treatment has been effective. In the case of a visit to a GP, the doctor will probably instruct you to return if there is no improvement in your condition after a few days, and in a hospital it will involve a visit and examination.
A doctor will be well aware of the myriad of conditions which display the same symptoms, but may not be expected to diagnose the cause of ill health immediately, just the most probable cause and start treatment. A follow up is therefore a vital part of the treatment process to ensure that the correct treatment has been given, the diagnosis was correct, and that there are no complications from the treatment, or from the disease itself.
In a hospital, negligence in patient follow up following an operation can have serious consequences, and if complications from the surgery or treatment are not spotted in time, they can have a serious affect on the health of a patient. When a doctor has failed in their duty of follow up care, and the health of a patient has suffered as a direct result, you could well be entitled to claim compensation on the grounds of medical negligence.
If it can be proven that there was medical negligence, and that “on the balance of probabilities” that had action been taken sooner, or different action taken, that you would have avoided further health problems, you could be entitled to claim medical negligence compensation.
If you are in any doubt as to whether you are eligible to claim, you should consult a specialist medical negligence solicitor for advice. Only after a thorough assessment of your case will he be able to determine whether the doctor or hospital has been negligence in patient follow up, and whether you are eligible to claim compensation for pain, suffering or loss as a result.