The UK’s frontline healthcare professionals have been working flat out throughout the coronavirus pandemic to treat seriously ill Covid-19 patients.
However, this concentration on the coronavirus has caused enormous interference with healthcare services across the country, with treatment delayed for millions of patients. Indeed, a survey by the British Medical Association found that more than half of doctors 56 per cent believe the pandemic has worsened care for non-Covid-19 patients.
The UK Government built a number of Nightingale hospitals and requisitioned thousands of hospital beds from private providers to allow for the increase in demand during the peak of the pandemic, yet much of this extra space has been unused so far – and non-Covid patients have suffered as a result.
Nearly all routine and elective surgery was put on hold during the height of Covid-19 outbreak, while referrals, outpatient appointments, screenings and tests were routinely cancelled or delayed.
Treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer patients were all disrupted during the lockdown, while patients with heart conditions or respiratory, kidney and liver problems were often unable to access urgent diagnostics including MRI scans, CT scans, blood tests and biopsies.
These disruptions have led to the conditions of many seriously ill people worsening during the pandemic, with the delays resulting in complications, the requirement for more invasive measures, and even leaving some patients in a terminal condition.
Waiting lists have also lengthened dramatically during the crisis, leaving those awaiting essential treatment, such as hip and knee surgery, in pain and in limbo.
Richard Penn, a solicitor in the medical negligence team at Negligence Claimline outlines what your options are if these widespread interruptions to healthcare services has affected your treatment.
If you or one of your loved ones has suffered delays to your treatment due to Covid-19, which has had a negative impact on your health and wellbeing, or if you fear that the vital treatment is likely to be cancelled or put on hold in the future, it is important that you seek help from a specialist medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible.
If the treatment you need has been delayed, they may be able to intervene on your behalf and help you frame a formal complaint to the complaints team at the relevant hospital or to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).
If your condition has worsened due to delays to your treatment, they may also be able to help you make a compensation claim for medical negligence. They can swiftly assess whether you have a case worth pursuing and, if you do, help you gather all the evidence you need to strengthen your claim.
For your claim to succeed, you would need to show that you suffered avoidable harm due to an unreasonable delay to your treatment or surgery. Your medical negligence lawyer can refer you to a medical expert who will be able to assess whether this was the case, and what affect the delays have had on your life.
The compensation you receive will depend on how much the delays in treatment has worsened your condition and your long-term prognosis. However, they could include damages for:
- pain and suffering;
- loss of earnings;
- medical expenses;
- loss of potential earnings;
- out of pocket expenses; and
- adaptations required to your home.
Contact us today for a confidential discussion with one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors on 01245 253214 or email [email protected]