Why are Medical Negligence Claims in the UK Increasing?

Why are Medical Negligence Claims in the UK Increasing?


Mummy says… A medical negligence claim is a sign of a problem but considering we now have better trained medical staff and access to an incredible amount of brilliant technology, why are medical negligence claims in the UK increasing?

Why are Medical Negligence Claims in the UK Increasing?

Decades ago, when technology and medical training was no where near as advanced as today, the number of claims made were so low and yet, now we are treating cancer successfully more than ever before we are seeing thousands of patients filing for medical negligence in the UK every year. What could be causing this?
Ancient Computerised Systems in Hospitals
Unfortunately, many public hospitals in the country are still using old and outdated software for most of the work, especially in reception. One of the biggest problems of using this outdated system is that high-risk and emergency patients are often put behind regular or low-risk patients because the appointments are auto-generated. It isn’t hard to imagine how this
can create a potential hospital negligence scenario, especially as the hospital staff usually have no idea of how to override the dated system either. The systems often break down for
hours at times and even critical patients are kept waiting till things get resolved.
Too Few Doctors for Too Many Patients
Doctors are among the top ten earners in the nation so you would think that a lot of Doctors would be available but unfortunately that is not quite true, in fact the situation is worrying in public hospitals as doctors are overworked, stressed and overwhelmed at the same time due to their insufficient number in comparison with the amount of patients looking to get medical care. As a result, even seeing fifty patients per day isn’t enough! Also, seeing so many patients on a constant basis doesn’t really allow for any real connection between the doctor and the patient. All this doesn’t bode well for the patient since mistakes and critical overlooks are just waiting to happen.
The Immigration Problem
Controversial as the topic may be, the truth is that immigration is a very real problem when it comes to providing quality healthcare in the UK. Hospitals are already overcrowded with patients and that has a lot to do with the recent surge in immigration. There just aren’t enough medical staff in the country to provide the proper medical care and attention that each
patient needs and the immigration surge has made things even more stressful for doctors, nurses and other professionals involved in the field of medical care. The solution is quite obvious really and it involves opening more clinics, training more medical personnel and providing better incentives and opportunities to encourage the younger generation to join the healthcare industry.
Poor Communication

This again is as a result of the hospitals and clinics being understaffed. A very ill patient who cannot communicate how serious the problem is may be misdiagnosed and classified as a minor health risk by the doctor.
Technically, this shouldn’t happen because doctors are supposed to know better, but it does happen because the overworked doctors do not always have the necessary time to spend with
each patient in order to determine the seriousness of the problem. Wrongful assessment of the
medical condition of a patient and subsequent complications are largely responsible for patients going to medical negligence lawyers and getting compensated for their troubles.
In case of psychological evaluation and treating mental health issues, this becomes an even bigger problem because psych wards are overcrowded as well. Psychotherapy works on the very principle of talking with the patients, building rapport with them and then slowly ascertaining and treating the problem with therapy and medication as required. All of this is very difficult to accomplish in just 5 – 10 minute sessions. Doctors are left with no choice but to address these issues as fast as they can. Patients failed by psychotherapists will sometimes lodge compensation claims against them.
Fake or Poorly Qualified Doctors in Private Clinics
In spite of being overworked, the certified surgeons and physicians in the UK public hospitals are able professionals who know what they are doing. Unfortunately, it is not quite the same in
the private sector, especially when it comes to cosmetic surgeries.
Since cosmetic surgery is a booming field that has been growing rapidly since the 1980s,
more and more surgeons are getting involved in the business. As it turns out, a lot of surgeons from outside the country are actually fakes and a good deal of them have very poor skills. Fake certificates in the industry are unfortunately quite common. The work they do is frequently substandard and the patient seeks out medical negligence solicitors for obvious reasons.
False Claims
Not every medical negligence UK claim is a legitimate one and a lot of false claims are made with the sole objective of taking money that they have no right to claim. The
fact that a lot of medical negligence solicitors offer a “no win no fee” consultation is both an
advantage and at times, a problem.While the best medical negligence solicitors such as the much acclaimed The Medical Negligence Experts tend to help victims of medical malpractice get the compensation that they deserve with a similar policy of “no win, no fee,” there are other less reputed legal establishments that would take up a case without any merit and waste the time of the court and that of their client.

There’s also good news though. The NHS alone has given out more than a billion pounds in compensation last year to deserving patients, which signifies the fact that although malpractice might be an issue in the UK, the government is indeed doing what it can to help the aggrieved patient parties. It’s a sign that while there are definitely problems in the system, all hope
is not lost, even when things occasionally go wrong in a hospital.

What are your thoughts?


  1. It’s an issue I’m very divided on to be honest. I’m not sure if there is more negligence nowadays or just more people willing to claim. I was in hospital for an op on Weds an the care I received was tip-top despite them being short staffed, I think we are so lucky to have the NHS in the UK. Mich x
    Michelle Twin Mum recently posted…5 Reasons to Travel to Belize, Central AmericaMy Profile

  2. So true its so much easier to make a claim – whats so annoying – THE SCAMS !

  3. I am with Michelle and definitely agree with most of your points, they are understaffed, not enough clinics for the amount of patients and the ancient software systems they have in place

  4. I think this is a bit of a contentious subject. Whilst I think the NHS is an amazing creation, does a wonderful job with lack of support/money/technology/staff, and we are UK citizens are Massively lucky to have it, especially given the cost of medical care abroad, especially in the USA.
    Then I look at the flip side, where my Dad’s test results were lost for 8 weeks, when they were eventually found we were told he had months left to live.
    In fact he he was sent home (where they forgot to pass his details to the Palliative care team) and died ONE WEEK later, with no nursing/care apart from my mother and I.
    He was treated shockingly and of course I made a complaint against the Hospital.

    In the end though, we are lucky that we get the the treatment we do, even with the queues. I would hate to see the dissolution of the NHS or worse yet, it was taken to being a private enterprise.
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  5. You say that doctors are some of the best paid people in the country but that isn’t true of ALL doctors.. Part of the reason there are so few of them now is because junior doctors have awful pay, awful hours and there’s very little given in return for their hard work!

  6. I didn’t realise how bad the issue was in the UK. I do agree that there feels like there’s never enough doctors, even booking an appointment for the GP is a hard process.
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  7. They are some doctors who are great at their jobs and others who can be bothers. I have a fantastic doctor but my father in law had a doctor who misdiagnosed him. 3 months later he died. We lost him last year. My sister in law is making a case against the doctor in question.

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