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Complaints towards the NHS.

(20 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Wed 29-Apr-15 01:10:37

Complaint is focused on negligent care causing a death.

In instances like this going through PALS just doesn't seem the right way to go, I thought it was just for minor complaints. I would have thought that for something so serious a Solicitor is the way to go straight from the start.

Can anyone give any advice?

MrsSquirrel Wed 29-Apr-15 13:10:08

What are you trying to achieve by pursuing the complaint?

Writerwannabe83 Wed 29-Apr-15 17:09:31

It's not me, but another family member.

He wants to take legal action which is why I said a Solicitor is the way to go but he's convinced he needs to go through PALS.

Imnotaslimjim Wed 29-Apr-15 17:13:16

PALS is the right place to start. I would leave "legal action" until its an absolute must. A complaint is completely different

Writerwannabe83 Wed 29-Apr-15 17:31:06

What do you mean, "An absolute must?"

thenightsky Wed 29-Apr-15 17:43:51

PALS is the route to take if you want to complain.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 29-Apr-15 17:45:02

That's what I thought, I didn't think they had anything to do with legal action. I will pass that on to my relative.

Imnotaslimjim Wed 29-Apr-15 19:04:31

If your relative feels that the complaint isn't being taken seriously, then legal action could be considered, but you're a long way off that

SauvignonBlanche Wed 29-Apr-15 19:08:39

PALS is not the only route to take.
A formal complaint goes to the Cheif Exective via the Clinical Governance department. The hospital's website should have contact details.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 29-Apr-15 19:51:31

One of the doctors already admitted to us that they missed the cancer. An x-ray that taken 6 months before the death was reported as being normal but when it was reviewed prior to the death occurring the doctor said it could be seen that there were abnormal lesions. The doctor apologised and said, "In hindsight, we missed it."

I was wondering whether because the doctors have already admitted that their error led to the death then PALS could be bypassed?

MissDemelzaCarne Wed 29-Apr-15 19:56:40

How you proceed depends entirely on what you are trying to achieve by pursuing the complaint?

frikadela01 Wed 29-Apr-15 19:58:59

PALS is indeed the first port of call And they can escalate and advise where to go for there.

Be warned doctors are well known to close ranks in situations like this. Should it come to legal action the fact 1 doctor said that doesn't mean others will.

Not bad mouthing docs just seen this happen at work (I'm a nurse) docs back each other up nurses hang each other out to dry ��

Writerwannabe83 Wed 29-Apr-15 19:59:32

I don't think he knows to be honest.

The death occurred 12 months ago and he has only just found the mental and emotional strength to deal with it.

ChoudeBruxelles Wed 29-Apr-15 20:01:36

Pals but you could also complain to the ccg as they commission the hospital to provide the services

iliketea Wed 29-Apr-15 20:04:03

I think that the first port of call is always PALS - I was chatting to someone recently who knows about these things and apparently a decent solicitor will tell you that you should go through the proper hospital complaints process first.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 29-Apr-15 20:14:28

Lovely, thank you. I will pass all this on smile

beautifulgirls Wed 29-Apr-15 20:47:22

For legal action you will not only need to prove that they got things wrong but also that the outcome was affected by the error. If your family are looking for compensation then the legal route is the way to go. If however you are just looking for an apology and a review of procedure then a formal complaint to the hospital via their official complaints route is the answer. You may choose to go both routes.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 29-Apr-15 21:51:28

She died from a tumour that they missed.

Following the 'clear X-ray' she was kind of left to it and over the course of 5 months she deteriorated in a horrific manner but because the x-ray had been reported as being clear the doctors started looking for other causes of illness that may have accounted for her symptoms.

Towards the end she ended up in A&E (sent by her GP because of the horrendous state she was in) and she was dead within a week sad

It was the day before she died, when the doctors told us she wasn't going to survive, that the doctor apologised and admitted they had missed the tumour and the x-Ray had been reported incorrectly.

AspieAndNT Mon 04-May-15 08:21:24

This happened to us with my Dad. The outcome would have always been the same as he had a brain tumour but it may have given us more time with him as he would have had palliative chemo which may have helped.

My Mum did try and complain but got absolutely no where - PALS also were no help. They did help initially when he was still an inpatient and the nursing care was hugely inadequate (trying to medicate with another patients medication who had the same name, paper work with the other patient mixed with my Dad's - the list goes on).

Really depends what outcome you want and how strong you all are as it will be a huge fight to get anywhere

Draylon Tue 05-May-15 09:45:01

Also, be aware that 'an apology' isn't an admission of guilt.

And, sadly a retrospectoscope isn't issued along with a stethoscope. I know it sounds glib but you might be surprised at how many things could be spotted on an xray once they know they're there. Radio-diagnostics isn't an exact science, with the best will in the world; and we all know cases of 'missed fractures' where, despite consultant review, the fracture cannot be seen on the initial film but is far more obvious a week later (which is why they re-xray you a week to 10 days later if it still hurts more or differently to what they'd expect) but, once they see the fracture on the newer film, a review of the initial one might make them 'see' something that someone might've thought was a fracture! -especially if they knew one was there.

For negligence to be proved, I'd've thought that you'd need to be able to find an independent doctor who would testify they he'd've never have missed the tumour or secondaries or whatever on the first xray. Admittedly, firms of medical-legal solicitors do keep such experts on their books!

Anyway, for fear of sounding 'all-American', I hope your family member finds the satisfaction they're looking for and that it helps them come to terms with their terrible loss.

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