Medication Errors In Healthcare – Could I Claim Compensation?

This guide will explain whether you might be eligible to make a claim following medication errors in healthcare.

medication errors in healthcare

A guide on medication errors in healthcare

The British Medical Journal conducted research on medication errors in England. They found that an estimated 237 million medication errors occur at some point during the medication process in England each year.

We will explore what a medication error is, examples of how they can happen and the steps you can take should you sustain harm due to an error with your medication.

Additionally, we will look at the compensation you could receive following a successful medical negligence claim.

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What Are Medication Errors In Healthcare?

According to NHS Resolution, medication errors in healthcare occur when a mistake is made in the process of prescribing, administering, preparing, dispensing or monitoring of medication. They can also occur when giving advice on medicines.

They can happen in various healthcare settings, such as a:

  • Hospital
  • Pharmacy
  • GP surgery
  • Private healthcare facility

The impact of experiencing an error with your medication can include both physical and psychological harm. For example, if you take the wrong medication, you may experience a reaction due to taking another medication that is incompatible. This may also cause you distress.

You may be able to seek compensation for the ways in which you have been affected by the harm medical negligence has caused you. For more information, call our team on the number above.

How Common Are Medication Errors In Healthcare?

According to NHS Resolution, there were 1,420 claims received that related to errors in the medication process. 487 of these claims settled and had damages paid. They cost the NHS £35 million, however, this didn’t include legal costs.

Examples Of Medication Errors In Healthcare

Below, we have provided some examples of how medication errors in healthcare could occur.

  • An administration error could lead to wrong medication being given in a hospital. For example, another patients chart is left at the end of your bed. As a result, you are given medication that was meant for someone else.
  • You may receive the wrong dosage of medication, leading to you experiencing symptoms of an overdose.
  • You could be given the wrong prescription in a pharmacy due to the pharmacist taking the wrong medication off the shelf when processing your prescription.

It’s important to note that not all incidents of medication errors can form the basis of a valid claim. You would need to prove that medical negligence caused you harm.

Duty Of Care In Healthcare

Medically trained healthcare practitioners such as doctors, nurses or dentists owe their patients a duty of care. As part of their duty of care, they must provide the patient with the correct standard of care.

If they fail to provide care that meets the correct standard, this is known as medical negligence. If medical negligence causes you to sustain harm, you may be able to seek compensation.

However, it’s important that you prove the medical professional provide care that fell below the minimum standard. We have explored the steps you can take to do so in the next section. Alternatively, you can speak to us on claiming following medication errors in healthcare.

How To Claim For Healthcare Medication Errors

There are several steps you could take following medication errors in healthcare. For example:

  • You can ask for copies of your medical records to help prove negligence.
  • You can keep a diary of symptoms you have experienced after the medication error.
  • You can keep prescriptions and the package your medication came in, as these can be used as evidence.

Additionally, you may need to attend an appointment with a medical professional acting independently. They can carry out an assessment of the harm you sustained. The report produced from this assessment could highlight the severity of the harm you sustained as well as how badly it will continue to impact you in the future. This can help solicitors value your claim.

You can also contact us to see if you are eligible to claim compensation. If it’s found you have a valid reason to claim compensation, a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel may be assigned to start working on your case.

If you’re wondering ‘can I claim against the NHS or a private healthcare provider?’, get in touch with our team. They can advise when a medical negligence claim could be justified.

Potential Settlements In Medical Negligence Claims

If you make a successful compensation claim for medical negligence, you could receive up to two heads of claim. One of these is known as general damages. This compensates you for the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the harm sustained due to medical negligence.

You can use the table below as an alternative to a medical negligence compensation calculator. The table includes figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document containing a list of different types of harm alongside guideline compensation brackets. It’s often used by solicitors to help them value the general damages portion of your claim.

Please only use the figures as a guide because the actual settlement you receive will differ from what’s listed in the table. This is due to the different factors that are assessed when valuing your settlement.

InjuryNotes On This InjuryDamages
Injuries affecting sight(b) Complete blindness. In the region of
Bowel Injury(b) There is a total loss of natural function. The person will be dependent on a colostomy.Up to £150,110
Bowel Injury(c) After surgery, there will be faecal urgency and passive incontinence. This will cause the person to be embarrassed and distressed. In the region of £79,920
Kidney Injury(b) There is a significant risk of contracting a urinary tract infection in the future.Up to £63,980
Kidney Injury(c) Loss of one kidney where the other is not impacted.£30,770 to £44,880
Spleen Injury(a) Loss of the spleen with an ongoing risk of internal infection and disorders due to a damaged immune system.£20,800 to £26,290
Spleen Injury(b) Loss of the spleen without any ongoing risk or the risks are minimal.£4,350 to £8,640
Damage to the digestive system resulting from non-traumatic injury (b) (i) There is severe toxicosis which causes several symptoms such as acute pain and vomiting. The person will also require admission to hospital.£38,430 to £52,500
Male Reproductive System(d) A simple case of sterility. There is no impotence or other aggravating features.£56,080 to
Female Reproductive System(g) Sterilisation that has failed and led to an unwanted pregnancy. However, the psychological impact isn't serious.In the region of

You may also receive special damages which compensate for financial losses incurred due to the harm you sustained as a result of medical negligence. For example, if you needed to take time off work while recovering, you may have lost earnings. You could claim these back under special damages. However, you will need to provide evidence, such as payslips.

For more information on the medical negligence compensation you could receive, call our team.

No Win No Fee Claims About Healthcare Providers

You may find it beneficial to hire a No Win No Fee solicitor offering their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This generally means there is nothing to pay for their services if your claim fails. If your claim is a success, you will pay a success fee from your compensation.

The medical negligence solicitors from our panel all operate on this basis. If you have a valid claim that has a chance of succeeding, they could start working on your case.

To find out more about seeking compensation following medication errors in healthcare, get in touch with our team. You can get in touch by:

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We hope this guide on medication errors in healthcare has helped. If you have any other questions, please get in touch on the number above.

Writer Hana Clarke

Editor Meg Miller