Healthcare acquired infection claims
When we visit a hospital, we expect it to be a clean and safe environment to be treated in. Whilst this is usually true, sometimes patients can contract infections that could have been avoided due to substandard care.
If you contracted an infection in hospital because of negligent care, then you could be entitled to compensation.
At Fletchers Solicitors, we understand the unnecessary suffering that is caused by avoidable hospital infections. Our team of lawyers are medical negligence specialists and have over 400 years’ experience dealing with NHS claims including cases for hospital-acquired infections. Our dedicated lawyers will work closely with you to build your case and fight by your side with compassion and empathy to secure the justice you deserve.
What is a healthcare acquired infection claim?
Patients can make claims for hospital acquired infections if they contracted an infection on a healthcare premise due to substandard care, and that infection directly caused harm or suffering.
Your surgery in hospital may have gone well, your treatment at the clinic might have been exemplary, but then all the good work that your medical team have done can unravel if you then succumb to infection caused by those healthcare premises.
Sometimes, getting an infection from a healthcare facility is unavoidable or is an accepted risk associated with having treatment. However unpleasant the consequences, hospital acquired infections are not always caused by negligence.
However, if you have contracted an infection due to substandard care or hygiene, or there has been a delay in the treatment of the infection, then you could be able to claim compensation.
To have a successful claim, there needs to be evidence that the facility has been negligent and caused your infection. Examples of negligence include contaminated equipment, poor standards of hygiene by staff, dirty facilities and materials, poor cleaning, lack of screening and failure to use antibiotics prior to the event. You may also be able to make a claim in circumstances where there was no negligence causing the infection but, the response to the infection was poor. It may not have been investigated in a timely manner, diagnosed quickly enough and/or not treated appropriately.
Once negligence has been established, claimants then need to show what they have suffered as a result of the negligent act. For example, the pain and suffering you have experienced, a description of the things you haven’t been able to do and the effects the negligence has had on your life and work and details of any financial losses incurred.
Bringing a compensation claim against the NHS can seem daunting, so our dedicated advisors will work with you every step of the way to guide you through the legal process. Once we’ve worked with you to establish the details of your claim, we’ll also consult medical professionals to assess the quality of care you received to help build the best case. We’ll also take the confusion and hardwork out of the claims process, by securing the medical documents, reports and statements needed for your claim on your behalf. Most importantly, we’ll be by your side throughout the claims process to fight for the justice you deserve.
Different types of hospital-acquired negligence claims
There are many infections that can be acquired whilst having treatment. These include:
- MRSA – methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus
- C Diff – clostridium difficile
- Food poisoning
Hygiene is of the utmost importance in any surgical context as your body is most at risk when it is exposed on an operating table. If the equipment being used on you at that key moment hasn’t been properly sterilised, then infection is very likely. Infection can also occur if wounds are not stitched or dressed appropriately.
Is there a time limit on making a hospital acquired infection claim?
Generally speaking, patients have three years to bring a medical negligence claim. This means you have three years from when the negligent incident occurred, or three years from when you first became aware that a mistake was made. Often people find out that a mistake has been made straight away, but sometimes it can actually be a matter of months, even years, before anyone admits that something has gone wrong.
If you or the person the mistake happened to is or was under the age of 18 at the time the incident occurred, then the time limit is three years from the date of their 18th birthday (i.e. their 21st birthday).
If the person the mistake happened to does not have the mental capacity to recognise the mistake, there can be no time limit.
When you’re recovering from surgery, a medical negligence claim is probably the last thing you want to deal with. But it’s important to be aware of the three year timescale and speak to an advisor as soon as possible. Our specialist advisors will make the claims process as smooth as it can be by guiding you through the legal process.
Contact us today to find out how we can guide you through the legal process.
Call us now on 0330 013 0251 or start your claim today with our online form.