In this guide, we will explore how some types of prescription errors could potentially occur. You can learn whether you’re eligible to seek medical negligence compensation following a prescription error that caused you harm.
Healthcare professionals are expected to meet the correct standard of care, including when they are handling medication. However, if this has not been met, a mistake with your prescription could occur.
These mistakes could occur at various stages of the prescribing or dispensing process. We look at some of the ways you could be given the wrong medication.
Additionally, if you have experienced harm as a result of medical negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation. This guide will explore what your compensation could comprise and how it’s often calculated.
Furthermore, this guide will look at the No Win No Fee arrangements that the solicitors from our panel could offer.
If you require any additional information, please get in touch with our team of advisors. To contact us, you can:
Select A Section
- Examples Of Different Types Of Prescription Errors
- Harmful Drug And Medication Interactions
- Dosage Errors
- When Could You Claim For A Prescription Error?
- Types Of Prescription Errors And Potential Compensation Awards
- Contact Us To Claim For Different Types Of Prescription Errors
A prescription error could occur at any stage of the prescribing or dispensing process. Examples include:
- The pharmacy could hand you the wrong prescription that was meant for another patient.
- A doctor could fail to consider a patient’s medical history and prescribe the wrong medication that they have a known allergy to.
Errors including the ones above could result in:
- Harmful drug interaction
You can discuss whether the harm caused by different types of prescription errors means that you are eligible to make a medical negligence claim with our advisors today.
Types Of Prescription Errors Statistics
The General Medical Council (GMC) released a final report on the types of medications associated with errors. The research shows the causes of prescribing errors made by first year foundation trainees. 19 acute hospital trusts in North-west England where part of the scope and 124,260 medication orders were checked on seven ‘census days’. 11,077 errors were detected.
It was found that were:
- 685 antibacterial drug incidents
- 347 incidents involving drugs used for diabetes
- 331 incidents involving antidepressants
- 188 beta blocker drug incidents
These are only a few examples of medications associated with errors.
Other types of prescription errors include those that cause harmful drug or medication interactions. Some medications should not be prescribed together due to the harmful effects the reaction between them can cause.
We have explored examples of these in the sections below.
Harmful Combinations Of Drugs
A medical negligence claim could arise if you experience the impact of a harmful interaction between your medications due to a medical professionals negligence.
Your doctor should ensure they check your medical history before prescribing other medication. However, they might fail to do so leading to you receiving a medication that isn’t suitable to be taken alongside medicine you’re already taking.
Medication allergic reaction claims could arise if your doctor prescribes you a drug you have a known allergy to.
For example, you may experience hospital negligence involving a prescribing nurse giving you a medication you were allergic to after they failed to check your patient notes.
An allergic reaction could range in severity. Symptoms of a drug allergy could include:
- Swelling of the face
Different types of prescription errors, could cause different symptoms. Call our team to find out whether you’re eligible to make a medical negligence claim following a prescription error.
There are other instances where you may have been prescribed the right medication but at the wrong dosage. This could also result in harm.
Examples of different types of prescription errors involving being given the wrong dosage, might include:
- Underdosing. For example, you may not have been prescribed a high enough dosage of medication to treat your illness.
- Overdosing. For example, you may have been prescribed a dosage of medication that is too high, you could experience an overdose.
Call our advisors if you have been prescribed the wrong dosage of medication because a medical professional was negligent and this has caused you harm. They can assess any medical negligence case for free.
Healthcare professionals owe their patients a duty of care, this includes when prescribing and dispensing medications. As such, they must meet a minimum standard of care when treating patients. If they don’t, it could result in patients sustaining harm.
In order to claim medical negligence compensation, you must be able to prove that medical negligence caused you harm.
As such, following a prescription error, you might want to:
- Always seek appropriate treatment.
- Gather evidence that proves negligence
- Access your health records.
Time limits to claim
Your prescription error claim must be started within the three year time limit. Some exceptions to the time limit apply, however.
These exceptions may apply to those:
- Under the age of 18: The time limit for a child is frozen until their 18th birthday. If no one has made a claim on their behalf by this date, they will have three years to begin their claim.
- With a reduced mental capacity: The three year time limit is frozen for those who don’t have the capacity to claim themselves. If they regain the capacity to claim, the three years will start from the date they recover.
A litigation friend could make a claim on behalf of a child until they turn 18 or someone who lacks the mental capacity to claim while the time limit is frozen. To act as a litigation friend, you would need to make an application to the courts.
To find out more about the time limits for making a medical negligence claim, please get in touch.
General damages and special damages are the two heads of claim that may make up your overall settlement. Each seeks to compensate you for the different impact you have experienced as a result of the harm sustained due to negligence.
Please note, you can only claim compensation for the additional harm you sustained as a result of negligence. As such, you won’t receive compensation for your original condition.
General damages is the head of claim that compensates for the pain and suffering caused by the harm you sustained due to negligence.
To help assign value to your injuries, legal professionals turn to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document contains injuries listed with their potential compensation brackets.
We’ve included examples from the 16th edition, published in April 2022 in the table below.
|£169,400 to £210,400
|Permanent serious damage to both kidneys or loss of both kidneys.
|Male reproductive system (d)
|£56,080 to £71,350
|Cases in this bracket include where a young person without children experiences uncomplicated sterility without impotence.
|Digestive system (b) Illness or damage from a non-traumatic injury (i)
|£38,430 to £52,500
|Where severe toxicosis has caused serious acute pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever causing hospitalisation and ongoing issues.
|£63,980 to £79,930
|Where control has been seriously impaired with pain and incontinence.
|£23,410 to £31,310
|Some long-term interference with natural function but near-complete recovery.
|£20,800 to £26,290
|Where the spleen has been lost with a continuing risk of internal infection due to a damaged immune system.
|Injuries affecting sight (f)
|£23,680 to £39,340
|This bracket includes cases of serious but incomplete vision loss in one eye. There won't be a significant risk of reduced or lost vision in the other eye.
|Female reproductive system (d)
|£17,960 to £36,740
|Where someone who already has children becomes infertile without any complications.
|Dermatitis and other skin conditions (a)
|£13,740 to £19,200
|Long-term dermatitis to both hands causing physical and psychological symptoms.
You should only use these figures as guidelines as they won’t necessarily reflect the settlement you receive.
If you incur costs due to your injuries, you might be able to recover them under special damages. Costs might include lost income or medical expenses.
In order to claim special damages, however, you will need to supply evidence. You can save your receipts or payslips to prove any losses.
For more information on how much your medical negligence claim could be worth, call our team.
Legal representation from an experienced medical negligence solicitor could help you through the claims process. However, you may be put off by costs often associated. Instead, you could hire a solicitor who offers No Win No Fee services, including a Conditional Fee Agreement.
Under this agreement, your solicitor will not ask for an upfront fee. You also won’t need to pay for their services following an unsuccessful claim.
A success fee will be paid to your solicitor from your compensation. This fee is subject to a legal cap.
Our advisors are available to discuss your eligibility to work with a solicitor from our panel. They can also provide more information on different types of prescription errors you could claim for.
To contact our team, you can:
Types of Prescription Errors Resources
Please find some additional resources below.
- GOV- NHS Constitution For England
- GMC- What To Expect From Your Doctor
- How Long Does A Medical Negligence Claim Take?
- GP Clinical Negligence Claim
- Private Healthcare Medical Negligence Claims
For more information on whether you can claim for different types of prescription errors, call our team.