Dispensing Errors In Pharmacies And Hospitals Compensation Claims

In this guide, you can find information on whether you could claim for harm you sustained as a result of dispensing errors. All medical professionals have a responsibility to treat their patients with the correct standard of care. If they fail to do so as a result of medical negligence and you are caused harm, you could seek compensation. 

dispensing errors

Dispensing errors claims guide

We have highlighted the different types of dispensing errors and how they could happen as a result of negligence. The guide also looks carefully at the effects such an error could have on you and the eligibility criteria for making a medical negligence claim.

Additionally, our guide aims to explain how the No Win No Fee agreements offered by our panel of medical negligence solicitors could help you when funding legal representation for a claim. 

Furthermore, you may be wondering how much compensation you’re owed. If so, this guide could help as we explain what your settlement may comprise and how payments are calculated. 

For more information, our advisors can give you more accurate guidance based on your specific situation. You can reach us in any of the following ways:

  •       Call us free of charge on 0800 652 3087
  •       Fill out our online contact form, and our advisors will get in touch with you
  •       Chat with us using the live chat feature on the page.

Alternatively, read on to learn more about making a dispensing error compensation claim.

 Select A Section

  1. What Are Dispensing Errors?
  2. Common Dispensing Errors
  3. How Could Dispensing Errors Affect You?
  4. Are You Eligible To Claim For A Dispensing Error?
  5. Compensation Amounts For Dispensing Errors
  6. Get Help From A No Win No Fee Solicitor

What Are Dispensing Errors?

Medical professionals are expected to meet the correct standard of care when treating patients. This includes pharmacists, who have a duty of care to provide adequate services to stop their patients from coming to unnecessary harm.

However, there are some cases where they might fail to do so causing a patient to suffer avoidable or additional harm. This could include dispensing errors with medication. Dispensing errors are disparities between what a doctor prescribes and what the patient eventually receives from a pharmacy.

For example, a doctor may have prescribed the correct medication and filled out the prescription form correctly. However, the pharmacist may have given the patient the wrong medication when processing their prescription because a lapse of judgement causes them to take the wrong bottle from the shelf.

As a result, the patient may have experienced complications with their original condition because it was left untreated, and additional harm from taking the wrong medicine.

What Standard Should Pharmacies Should Meet?

The General Pharmaceutical Council provides information on the standards pharmacy professionals in Great Britain should meet. These include:

  • Demonstrating leadership
  • Speaking up about any concerns they have 
  • Respecting and maintaining the person’s confidentiality 
  • Communicating effectively
  • Using their professional judgement
  • Providing person-centred care.
  • Ensuring they maintain and develop the knowledge and skills they have

If a pharmacist provides services that fall below the correct standard of care, they may have been negligent. If you can prove that the harm you sustained was due to the pharmacist’s negligence and that it would have been avoided if you’d gotten the right standard of care, you may be able to claim compensation. Call our team for more information.

Common Dispensing Errors

There are a variety of ways dispensing errors could occur. For example, a pharmacist might dispense: 

  • The wrong dosage of medication 
  • The wrong medication entirely
  • Medication that causes a chemical reaction with another medication you take, resulting in harm
  • Medicine that has expired
  • A medication that you are allergic to 

It’s important to note that not all errors with medication can lead to a medical negligence claim. In order to make a valid claim, you must be able to prove that negligence caused you to sustain harm and that it was caused by a breach of duty of care.

How Dispensing Errors Could Affect You

The effects of a medication error can vary. In some cases, the impact of receiving the wrong medication can be minor. However, in other cases, dispensing errors could have more serious implications.

For instance, you may have been given medication that was prescribed to another patient to which you had a known allergy. As a result, you may have experienced a severe drug allergic reaction.

In turn, you may have been affected both physically and psychologically due to your pain and suffering. Additionally, you may have been unable to work while recovering leading to a loss of earnings.

If you have been harmed because of dispensing errors resulting from negligence, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim. Get in touch to find out more.

Are You Eligible To Claim For A Dispensing Error?

In order to claim compensation for dispensing errors, you must be able to prove that you were harmed as a result of medical negligence. This is where a trained healthcare professional fails to meet the minimum standard of care in a way that causes harm.

Additionally, there are other factors you may need to consider, such as the medical negligence time limit for claiming. Generally, you have three years from the date of the incident or the date you connected the harm you sustained to negligence.

However, certain exceptions may apply to your case. For example, if a child was harmed by negligence, the time limit is frozen until they turn 18. During this time, someone could claim on the child’s behalf by acting as a litigation friend. Alternatively, the child will have three years to make their own claim from the date of their 18th birthday.

Other exceptions include those who have a reduced mental capacity. In these cases, someone could apply to act as a litigation friend and make the claim on their behalf. The time limit is also suspended in these cases. It begins again in the event that the injured person recovers.

Compensation Amounts For Dispensing Errors

If you have been harmed because of dispensing errors in a pharmacy that were a result of medical negligence, you may have grounds to seek medical negligence compensation. Following a successful claim, your settlement may consist of general damages and special damages.

General damages seek to compensate for the pain and suffering due to the harm you sustained. This head of claim accounts for any physical or psychological harm and how your quality of life was impacted. 

Special damages aim to help you recover the financial losses incurred due to your injury. These could include transportation costs, lost income and medical expenses. However, you will need to provide evidence such as receipts and payslips.

When calculating the general damages head of claim, legal professionals may use a document called the Judicial College Guidelines to assist them. This includes bracket compensation amounts that correspond to a variety of injuries. We have used figures from the most recent edition of the guidelines, published in 2022, in the table below.

Please note, these figures are not a guarantee of what you will receive as each claim is assessed on it’s individual circumstances. As such, you should only use them as a guide.

Digestive System
(b) Illness or damage from non-traumatic Injury: (i) Toxicosis of a severe nature that requires the person to be admitted to hospital. £38,430 to £52,500

Digestive System
(b) Illness or damage from non-traumatic Injury: (ii) Cases in this bracket include serious diarrhoea and vomiting that lasts for a short period of time.£9,540 to

Digestive System
(b) Illness or damage from non-traumatic Injury: (iii) The person will need to be admitted to hospital for a number of days and symptoms may last for several weeks.£3,950 to

Digestive System
(b) Illness or damage from non-traumatic Injury: (iv) Cases in this bracket may include where someone has experienced disabling pain, cramps and diarrhoea. £910 to £3,950
Kidney(a) Where both kidneys have been seriously and permanently damaged or lost.£169,400 to £210,400
Kidney(c) Where one kidney has been lost and the other hasn't been damaged.£30,770 to
Bowels(a) This bracket includes cases where the person has experienced a total loss of natural bowel function as well as other issues.Up to
Bowels(d) An abdominal injury that is severe and causes function impairment.£44,590 to

Spleen(a) Where the spleen has been completely lost causing several issues.£20,800 to
Bladder(b) Where bladder function and control has been completely lost. Up to

As an alternative, you could use a medical negligence compensation calculator to get a rough estimate of the value of your claim. You could also call our team for a free estimate of what your claim is worth.

Get Help From A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you still have questions, you can call our advisors for free legal advice. They can provide further information on making wrong prescription claims. 

Additionally, they could connect you with a solicitor from our panel to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. The solicitors on our panel offer their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement. As part of the agreement, you will not pay upfront or ongoing costs. 

If your claim is successful, a small percentage of your compensation is deducted. However, there is a legal cap on the percentage. Furthermore, if your claim is not a success, then you won’t pay your solicitor for their services. 

To find out more, you can:

  •       Call us free of charge on 0800 652 3087
  •       Fill out our online contact form, and our advisors will get in touch with you
  •       Chat with us using the live chat feature on the page.

Medical Negligence Resources

Please find some additional resources that you may find beneficial below.

For more information on the dispensing errors claims process, please get in touch on the number above.

Publisher Fern Stiles

Writer Mary Martins