When accessing care from a GP surgery, hospital, health centre or dental practice you should feel reassured that the staff will have your best interests at heart, especially if you’re already anxious or worried about treatment you’re receiving.
In most cases this is exactly what happens. Sadly, not all medical establishments are staffed by caring employees, and cases of patient abuse do still occur.
Unfortunately, vulnerable people who are physically, emotionally or psychologically frail. Young patients, the elderly, mentally incapacitated or those who dependent on others to look after them can therefore be at risk.
Abuse of patients can happen in a variety of different situations. It doesn’t matter whether medical treatment is being delivered at home, in a hospital or as part of a community health program; the Trust responsible for administering it has a ‘duty of care’ to all its patients.
This means you have the right to be treated with a reasonable level of professional care at all times.
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Patient and hospital abuse claims can be pursued whenever a patient experiences a clear breach of this. If you feel you have suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse by a healthcare professional, it may be possible to pursue legal action and claim compensation for your pain and suffering.
Every local hospital trust, social care provider and mental health trust in England and Wales is responsible for the actions of their employees. This means they can be found liable, or failing in their duty of care, if a medical professional commits an act of abuse on a patient.
As anyone who is unwell will know, the relationship between a healthcare professional and their patient is based on trust. In the eyes of the law, any intimacy or sexual contact cannot be considered a mutual act because a patient is seen as being vulnerable.
Whilst no amount of compensation can ever make up for the distress, suffering and trauma experienced when subjected to any form of abuse, it can help you access counselling or therapy and medication to make coping with what happened more manageable. Some abuse survivors also take the decision to sue an abuser because it enables them to achieve closure and take back some control of their emotions and life.
If you’d like to speak to our specialist team in confidence, please get in touch or call today.
What are the different types of patient abuse?
Patient abuse does not just have to take place whilst receiving medical treatment in a hospital. It can be carried out by any healthcare professional, whether it’s in a clinic, surgery or even at your own home.
Patient abuse is defined as being any action or failure to act which causes a patient to endure unreasonable suffering, misery or harm.
Types of abuse can include:
How to report hospital abuse or abuse by medical staff
If you’ve experienced sexual, physical or emotional trauma because of patient abuse, or you’re worried that a loved one might be suffering abuse in hospital, or from another healthcare professional, contact our team.
Depending on the historic or current circumstances and the outcome you’d like to happen, you may want to report your complaint to:
How our patient abuse lawyers can help you
At Hudgell Solicitors, we realise how traumatic it can be to come forward and we promise to treat you and your experience with respect and compassion.
Our highly-trained team of abuse solicitors appreciate why you may be fearful of making a claim. Although we could never fully understand the difficulties you’ve been through, we can help you to discuss what happened and help you to seek justice.
If you decide not to take matters further after speaking to us, you won’t be under any obligation to do so and we will not charge you for our initial advice. If you do wish to proceed with your case, we can assist you on a ‘No win, no fee’ basis. Whatever the outcome, you won’t pay a penny, except an agreed percentage of any damages you receive.
We can provide free, confidential and expert advice in relation to all manners of abuse.
You can find out more about how we support those who have been subjected to abuse here HOW WE SUPPORT YOU THROUGH AN ABUSE CLAIM
If you or someone you know could benefit from this, please get in touch and speak to a solicitor specialising in abuse compensation claims.
“It is highly significant that, following our legal representation, and despite their being no legal precedent or law for it, we have secured damages for all of the families we have represented in the case, recognising the huge impact Bradbury’s offending had not only on the children themselves, but also their wider families and the devastating impact it has had on their lives.”
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