Medical Negligence in Context

There are 4.7 million surgical procedures carried out each year by the NHS, a staggering total. That’s nearly 13,000 each day!

Of course, the overwhelming majority of these are successful and everything goes according to plan. But, mistakes do happen, and these are more often than not preventable. Humans are fallible and we make mistakes. It is not intentional, any sane medical professional does not want to harm their patients or see them get harmed. They entered this space to help people!

Medical negligence, or medical malpractice, are the terms used to describe preventable mistakes where a patient suffered as a result.

Sure, doctors, surgeons and other medical staff are highly skilled in their fields. Regardless of this, you need to recognise if you’ve been an unfortunate recipient of medical negligence, in which case you may be entitled to compensation.

Speak to your medical negligence solicitors from Manchester if you feel that you fit the mould of the description below.

Ultimately, the doctor, nurse and or dentist will not be the one that has to foot your bill. It will be the businessman behind the operation. They knew what they were signing up for in being in a business like medical care.

Private hospital and medical business owners know that they will be sued for harming people. It is simply part of the process.

The NHS were aware of it before ever being created and they have legal teams and other measures in place to handle claims against them.

The benefits could be great and the downsides are virtually non-existent. This is the very nature of a “no win no fee” service. The only downside is time and energy invested into getting in touch with us and providing any information and evidence we need to create a case.

Largely, we will take care of the case so you won’t have to involve yourself much. You can carry on with your life!

Here are some of the most common types of medical negligence that we see and deal with in Manchester.

There are, of course, other negligence claims that we deal with, but these occur most frequently.


Diagnostic errors come in a few forms.

Firstly, failure to diagnose. This is simply where a condition is totally missed, in which case the patient won’t receive any treatment and can experience unnecessary problems and pain.

Sometimes a diagnosis can be made later than it should have, which may have implications such as suffering, lower survival chances or longer recovery time.

Finally, sometimes a diagnosis may simply be incorrect. The wrong treatment prescribed for a misdiagnosed condition could be even more harmful for you.

Misdiagnoses at NHS hospitals in 2014/2015 cost close to £200 million. Common types of misdiagnosis include failing to diagnose fractures, diabetes and cancer.


There is a huge risk of infection associated with many surgical procedures.

Absolute care has to be taken when dealing with open wounds, and the right antibiotics have to be used. At worst, infections lead to blood poisoning and amputations, where they progress to the stage of being untreatable.

From Wikipedia, “In 2012 the Health Protection Agency reported the prevalence rate of hospital acquired infections in England was 6.4% in 2011, against a rate of 8.2% in 2006.

With respiratory tract, urinary tract and surgical site infections the most common types of HAI reported.”

While these percentages may sound small, given the large numbers of people in and out of hospitals each year, that is a staggering number of HAIs.Incorrectly sealed wounds are more at risk of infection and can also lead to further pain and scarring that was all avoidable.

Make sure any stitches and dressings have been checked for integrity and quality. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Operating on the Wrong Person, or Wrong Body Part

A Telegraph article in 2017 reported on the big numbers when it comes to these inexplicable errors.

In the 12 months prior to April 2017, surgery was performed on the wrong site 178 times. Any number above 0 is too high, but these things happen.

For example, knee surgery performed on the wrong knee.

Foreign objects occasionally get left inside the patient, most commonly surgical swabs.

There is simply no excuse for this, and objects left inside the patient can cause serious complications down the line.

Even if there is no obvious pain or discomfort, you are still entitled to compensation for this sort of carelessness.

At worst, where hospital procedures are breached, there are even cases where surgery has been performed on the wrong patient. Although rare, it has happened and leads to a complicated legal situation.

Incorrect Prescription

Prescriptions are written in their thousands each day.

While the overwhelming majority are correctly processed, errors do occur. Incorrect dosage, or even the wrong medication, is very dangerous for certain conditions.

The consequences can be devastating, as a simple course of medication might be the difference between recovering back to full health or spending more time in hospital because the problem only got worse, or a new problem develops as a side effect.

Your history must be thorough and accurate, and the doctor should be aware of it. If you’re allergic to certain medication, there is no way you that medication should be prescribed to you.

It is testament to our NHS and our doctors that the overwhelming majority of surgical procedures and medical events are successful and maintain patient health.

However, accidents and mistakes do happen, and it you’ve suffered as a result you may have a claim. If you’re unsure about your situation and want to seek legal advice, we’re the perfect team to talk to with our many years of expert experience dealing with medical negligence claims.

Your health comes first and if you haven’t been treated with the care you deserve, there is no reason not to pursue legal action.

All of the statistics used in this article about surgery and the NHS in numbers came from The Royal College of Surgeons of England. They are a professional membership organisation and registered charity, aiming to improve patient care by advancing skill and knowledge base in the sector overall and guiding policies.