This guide explains how to complain about dispensing errors. We will also outline some of the bodies to whom you could report this kind of error.
Medical professionals must provide patients with the correct level of care. If a breach in this duty of care caused a dispensing error that resulted in avoidable harm, then you could be entitled to claim. We will explain the eligibility criteria to make a medical negligence compensation claim and some examples of evidence you could use to support it.
We will share examples of the kinds of harm that can befall a patient as the result of a dispensing error. The guide also covers guideline brackets for compensation that can be awarded for the impact of physical and mental injuries.
Finally, we will cover the benefits of legal representation from a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel. To find out how to claim for medical negligence, you can get a free assessment from our advisors by:
Jump To A Section
- How To Complain About Dispensing Errors
- Could You Take Legal Action For A Dispensing Error?
- Examples Of Medical Negligence Payouts For Dispensing Errors
- Dispensing Errors You Could Claim Compensation For
- Could You Claim For A Dispensing Error With A No Win No Fee Solicitor?
- Discover More About How To Complain About Dispensing Errors
You may be wondering how to complain about dispensing errors. Firstly, you could consider reporting an error directly to the medical facility where you received treatment, or the pharmacy that dispensed your medication.
Further to that, you could make a complaint to one of the below bodies:
- The General Medical Council regulates UK doctors and can investigate a serious report about a doctor’s behaviour or performance.
- NHS Resolution is a body that gives guidance to the NHS on resolving complaints or disputes.
- Care Quality Commission is England’s health and adult social care regulator and regulates activities, including medical treatment, care and support.
- General Pharmaceutical Council regulates pharmacies and pharmacy staff in Great Britain with the aim of assuring and improving care standards.
If a complaint has not been resolved or responded to, you could bring it to The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. They make the final decision on unresolved NHS complaints in England.
How Our Team Could Help You Make A Complaint
Our dedicated advisors can talk you through how to complain about dispensing errors and suggest who to raise your concerns with.
What’s more, we can consult with you about a potential medical negligence compensation claim. If you have a valid claim, an advisor could put you in contact with a medical negligence solicitor from our panel.
The services provided by our team of advisors are free, so please do not hesitate to call or contact us online.
A compensation claim could be made for the effects of a dispensing error if there are grounds to do so. Valid medical negligence claims must meet certain eligibility criteria. You need to prove that:
- A medical professional owed you a duty of care.
- They breached their duty of care by not providing the correct standard of care.
- This breach led to complications that caused you avoidable physical and/or mental harm. Said harm can include exacerbating an existing condition or causing.
All medical professionals have a duty of care applied to them. As such, they must do everything within their means to provide patients with the correct standard of care. Failure to meet this duty of care when dispensing medicine could result in a patient suffering preventable complications.
Limitation Periods For Dispensing Error Claims
The Limitation Act 1980 states that a medical negligence claim must generally commence within three years of the negligent activity. However, knowledge of negligence or the harm resulting from an error is not always immediately apparent. Therefore, in certain cases, a three-year limit from the date of knowledge is possible.
There are further exceptions that could apply to some scenarios. As well as showing how to complain about dispensing errors, we can look into the time limit that would apply to your case should you call our advisors.
If you are awarded compensation for medical negligence, your settlement could be formed of up to two heads of claim.
Special damages account for both past and future financial losses brought about due to injuries resulting from negligence. If you sustain injuries or symptoms worsen after a dispensing error, you could use evidence like payslips or bank account statements to show:
- Healthcare or prescription costs necessitated by injuries.
- Home adaptation or mobility support fees.
- Travel costs, if they are the result of injuries.
- A loss of earnings due to missing work.
In a successful claim, you would be awarded general damages for the physical pain and mental suffering caused by injuries. You can only receive special damages if you’re awarded general damages.
We have put together a table using figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to give an idea of the tools used to value claims. While JCG figures are used alongside other documents (such as medical evidence) to value injuries in medical negligence cases, the table only provides a guide and not a projection of compensation you would be guaranteed to get.
|Brain Damage - Moderate (i)
|£150,110 to £219,070
|A moderate to heavy impact on intellect, sensory impact and a personality change are among the symptoms of cases in this bracket.
|Brain Damage - Moderate (ii)
|£90,720 to £150,110
|Moderate to modest impact on intellect. If there is any ability to work left, this will be greatly removed. Some risk of epilepsy.
|Up to £150,110
|There is a complete absence of natural function, with a requirement for colostomy.
|Up to £140,660
|Cases where the affected person loses bladder function and control completely.
|£54,830 to £70,030
|Significant and worsening lung function is among the results of a disease such as emphysema.
|£31,310 to £54,830
|The affected person has difficulty breathing and needs to use an inhaler quite frequently.
|Digestive System - Illness/Damage Resulting From Non-Traumatic Injury
|£38,430 to £52,500
|Severe disease caused by toxins which has a significant impact on the ability to enjoy life and to work.
|Digestive System - Illness/Damage Resulting From Non-Traumatic Injury
|£9,540 to £19,200
|Despite being short-lived, the condition is serious. Symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea will recover within two to four weeks but there may be remaining discomfort for a few years.
|£20,800 to £26,290
|The spleen is removed or lost, with immune system damage carrying a continuing internal infection risk.
|£4,350 to £8,640
|Damage to the spleen that doesn't present the above risks or, if it does, they are minimal.
If you would like someone from our team to assess your claim, get in touch today. If it’s valid, they could connect you with a No Win No Fee lawyer from our panel.
As part of outlining how to complain about dispensing errors, we have produced some examples of dispensing errors that could occur.
- The wrong medication is dispensed due to the doctor confusing your condition with another patient’s and not checking your records. As well as your existing condition getting worse because of a lack of proper treatment, the medicine causes internal damage.
- You receive a painkiller dosage for an orthopaedic issue at the hospital, which is much too high. This leads to an overdose which causes organ failure and respiratory issues.
- The dosage you are given for high blood pressure is too low because of a prescription documentation error in a pharmacy, meaning that your condition is not combatted correctly, and you suffer a stroke. Subsequently, your brain function is badly impaired.
- You have a known allergy, and the wrong medicine is administered to you in a hospital because of a labelling error. You suffer a severe allergic reaction because the medicine contains the allergen you could not take.
It is worth bearing in mind that not every case involving a dispensing error would constitute grounds for a medical negligence claim. Furthermore, an incident does not need to meet the criteria for a medical negligence claim in order for you to make a complaint.
If you have suffered as the result of medical negligence due to a dispensing error, you could speak to our advisors to see if your situation could give you the grounds for a compensation claim. They can also offer advice on how to complain about dispensing errors.
You could benefit from the guidance of a solicitor from our panel under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA.) As part of this kind of No Win No Fee agreement, you won’t be asked to pay for the solicitor’s services upfront or as the claim progresses.
You will also not be charged for your solicitor’s legal representation if the case fails; however, they’ll take a percentage of the compensation if the claim is successful. This success fee has a cap applied to it by the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.
The professional insight of a medical negligence solicitor can be significant, and you could secure the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel if your claim is valid. A free assessment from our advisors will show you if you have the legal basis to claim after a dispensing error.
All you need to do is:
We have created a wide range of guides to give clear and helpful advice about medical negligence claims. Here are a handful of examples:
- This guide takes a broad look at what a medical negligence claim could be worth.
- If your GP missed your cancer symptoms, this guide will explain what steps you can take.
- Finally, this article explains the process for private healthcare medical negligence claims.
You may also benefit from examining these resources:
- The General Medical Council’s mission statement.
- NHS Resolution’s homepage.
- The standards for pharmacy professionals, explained by the General Pharmaceutical Council.
Thank you for reading our guide discussing how to complain about dispensing errors and when a compensation claim could be valid. Please reach out to our advisors if you have any questions.
Guide by Ed
Published by Fern