Dispensing Medication Errors – Could I Make A Compensation Claim?

In this guide, we look at when claims could be made for dispensing medication errors. Have you suffered harm due to medical negligence? If so, we aim to provide you with the information you need to confirm whether you have a valid claim.

dispensing medication errors

Dispensing medication errors claims guide

This article will explain how a medication error in healthcare could happen, and the duty of care medical professionals owe you. Additionally, we will share some potential compensation figures that could be awarded in successful claims.

If you would like to speak with someone about your potential medical negligence claim, you can contact our friendly team of advisors today. They are available 24/7 to answer any questions you have regarding your claim and can offer you free legal advice.

Contact us today:

  • Call 0800 652 3087 to speak to an advisor.
  • Contact us via our online form.
  • Talk to an advisor via our live chat feature.

Select A Section

    1. What Are Dispensing Medication Errors?
    2. What Are The Most Common Types Of Dispensing Mediation Errors?
    3. Could You Claim For Dispensing Medication Errors?
    4. Average Compensation Settlements For Dispensing Errors
    5. No Win No Fee Medication Error Claims

What Are Dispensing Medication Errors?

All healthcare professionals, including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, have a duty of care toward those they provide their services to. As part of their duty of care, they must ensure that all their patients receive the correct standard of care.

Pharmacists are authorised and qualified to prepare and give out medication. The process of doing so is called dispensing medication. Pharmacists may dispense medication in a high street pharmacy, in hospitals, or in care homes.

Pharmacists or pharmacy technicians could make dispensing medication errors. For example, a pharmacy may give a patient the wrong medication due to the medication being mislabelled. Consequently, a patient can receive the wrong type of medication or be given incorrect instructions on how to take their medication. If the patient takes the wrong medication or takes the medication incorrectly, they could suffer various consequences. For example, they may have an allergic reaction. In some cases, deaths from medication errors could occur.

To make a valid medical negligence claim for a medication error, you must prove that a medical professional breached their duty of care to you. You also need to show that the medication error caused you harm. If a medication error occurred that did not have an impact on your health, you would not be able to claim even if it was caused by negligence.

To find out whether you have a valid claim, contact our team today. If your case has a good chance of success, you could be connected with one of our solicitors.

What Are The Most Common Types Of  Dispensing Medication Errors?

Medical professionals, such as a doctor or nurses, could be responsible for medication errors. However, they could occur in various medical environments, including hospitals and care homes. According to NHS Resolution, there were 321 claims made in April 2012 to March 2020 relating to medication errors in the NHS. Of these, 22 related to dispensing errors. The most common kind of errors occurred in administration.

There are various ways dispensing medication errors could happen. For example:

  • A pharmacist may dispense medication with instructions to take the wrong dosage of medication which is too high or too low.
  • A healthcare professional may dispense the wrong medication, triggering an adverse drug reaction.
  • A medical professional offers incorrect medical advice, therefore they take them incorrectly (e.g. on an empty stomach when they need to be taken on a full stomach).
  • A pharmacist could give a patient medication meant for someone else, that contains something the patient is allergic to. The patient takes the wrong medication, which causes an allergic reaction.

However, as we have stated, in order for your claim to be valid, you must prove that you suffered unnecessary harm due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care to you.

Call our team today for further guidance on medical negligence claims for harm caused by dispensing medication errors.

Medication Error Statistics

The British Medical Journal published a study in 2020, which gives us some insight into how frequently medication errors occurred. The study found that  237 medication errors take place in England each year. 66 million of these are judged to be clinically significant. The errors contribute to over 1,708 avoidable deaths and cost the NHS over £98 million per year.

Could You Claim For Dispensing Medication Errors?

To make a claim for dispensing medication errors, you will need to provide proof of medical negligence, which includes:

  • The pharmaceutical practitioner must have owed you a duty of care.
  • However, the practitioner must have breached the duty of care by providing you with substandard medical treatment.
  • The substandard care must have harmed you.

Additionally, you must ensure that you make your claim within the relevant time limits. These generally are:

  • 3 years from the date, the harm was caused by medical negligence.
  • 3 years from the date, the harm was first linked to having been caused by medical negligence.

There are exceptions to these time limits, however. Call our advisors today to see whether these apply to you; a member of our team can confirm whether you have a legitimate medical negligence claim.

Average Settlements For Dispensing Errors

If a dispensing error has harmed you, you might be eligible to claim compensation. If your claim is successful, your compensation settlement could include two types of damages:

  • General damages: This compensates you for the physical and mental harm caused by medical negligence.
  • Special damages: This is compensation for the financial losses accrued due to the harm caused by medical negligence.

Examples of special damages include medical expenses, travel expenses, or reimbursement of the cost of care. You may also be able to claim compensation for any loss of income suffered if you had to take unpaid time off work because of your injuries.

For both forms of damages, you will need to provide sufficient evidence to support your claim. Medical records could be used as evidence for general damages. Receipts, bank statements and invoices could be used as evidence for special damages.

To help you understand how much you may potentially receive in general damages, we have created the following table. The compensation brackets in the table are based on figures listed in the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Many legal professionals will use the document to help them when valuing claims.

Kidney Injury (a) - Both kidneys have either been lost or seriously damaged.£169,400 to £210,400
Bowel Injury(b) - The person is left relying on a colostomy (depending on their age). They have lost natural bowel function.Up to £150,110
Total Deafness and Loss of Speech(a) - Where deafness has occurred at an early age (for example, as a result of infection) and this has prevented or seriously affected speech development. £109,650 to £140,660
Bladder Injury (c) - Serious impairment of control of the bladder as well as pain, suffering and incontinence.£63,980 to £79,930
Female Reproductive System Injuries Cases of a younger woman without children having infertility. There are not any other aggravating features.£56,080 to £71,350
Male Reproductive System Injuries Cases of a younger man without children who is left sterile though not impotent.£56,080 to £71,350
Digestive System Injuries (a)(i) - A severe injury to the digestive system that causes discomfort and continuing pain.£43,010 to £61,910
Chest Injuries (c) - A continuing disability due to the lungs and chest being damaged.£31,310 to £54,830
Lung Disease (e) - Wheezing due to bronchitis. No serious symptoms with little effect on daily life.£20,800 to £31,310
Spleen Injuries (a) An injury which leads to the person losing their spleen. There is also a risk of developing an internal infection due to the immune system being damaged.£20,800 to £26,290

This table should only be used as a guideline, as how much compensation you could receive will depend on the specific claim you are making.

For more information on receiving compensation for dispensing medication errors, contact our team today.

No Win No Fee Medication Error Claims

If a dispensing medication error has harmed you, you may be eligible to claim compensation. Our medical negligence solicitors could take on your case as a No Win No Fee claim. There are many different types of No Win No Fee agreements, and a popular kind is a Conditional Fee Agreement.

When making a claim with a No Win No Fee agreement in place, you will generally not be expected to pay any upfront fees to your solicitor to start your claim. Additionally, you won’t normally have to pay them for their services if the claim fails. However, you will pay them a success fee if the claim succeeds. This will be taken from your compensation, and the percentage that can be deducted is legally capped.

Furthermore, if you have any questions regarding claims for harm caused by dispensing medication errors, you can contact our advisors. Our friendly team is available 24/7 to offer you free legal advice regarding your potential medical negligence claim.

Contact us today:

  • Call 0800 652 3087 to speak to an advisor.
  • Contact us via our online form.
  • Talk to an advisor via our live chat feature.

Medication Error Guides

Below, we have included links to some more of our guides:

Additional resources are available at:

Please contact us if you would like further information on claiming for harm caused by dispensing medication errors.

Guide by Megan

Edited by Fern