Private doctors should offer the same standard of care as NHS doctors. That private treatment is paid for directly does not guarantee that every private doctor meets such standards. Negligence can be a result of errors during surgery and post-operative care in a private hospital for conditions including cancer, child birth, injury to children, brain injury, spinal injury, delayed diagnosis and private general practitioner claims.
Clinical negligence claims against private healthcare providers are similar to those against the NHS, with key differences:
- The correct defendant must be identified. A private hospital can be owned by another company. On occasion, treatment will appear to have been provided by the NHS but will actually have been provided by a private organisation.
- Individual clinicians often have their own private medical indemnity insurers. These companies will manage the litigation on behalf of the doctor. It is essential that the claim is brought against the correct individual or organisation.
- With private healthcare, the patient often has a contract directly with the healthcare provider. Sometimes the private doctor or hospital may even guarantee a certain outcome for the patient. In these situations, it may be more appropriate to bring a claim based on the terms of this contract (or any guarantee that has been offered).
- The question of whether a patient has given proper consent to a particular treatment can be more of an issue in circumstances where a particular procedure has been 'sold' to a patient. This should be considered carefully.
- If a patient has been injured as a result of negligent medical treatment in the UK, it may be possible to bring a clinical negligence claim in the UK no matter where he or she actually lives.
Our medical negligence team has wide experience in claims against private healthcare providers in London and across the UK. Cases can be complex, but our expertise enables us to achieve maximum compensation for patients injured in private care.
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