In some circumstances, cancelled NHS appointments can be unavoidable. But with reports of increasing numbers of delays and problems, we need to look at patient safety.
And we also need to look at when cancellations lead to patient suffering, and whether a victim can be entitled to make a claim for medical negligence compensation.
It’s understood that there are increasing numbers of appointments being cancelled, and some are being cancelled more than once. There have been reports of some patients facing 10 cancellations in a row, which is staggering. With this problem seemingly on the rise, what can patients do?
Cancelled NHS appointments on the rise
The media has been reporting that cancelled NHS appointments are on the rise. The issue is said to affect elderly patients more, and waiting times for some appointments are reportedly lengthening as well.
We know that NHS funding remains an issue, and there are reports of resources simply being mismanaged. It’s also believed that some of the data that has been used that demonstrates this increasing trend of cancelled appointments may be just the tip of the iceberg, with a great deal of data having not been collected.
Ultimately, some delays – like delays for important appointments – can risk patient safety. That’s why this apparent upward trend of cancelled appointments is so worrying. When delays in diagnosis, treatment or referrals results in adverse events, it must be looked at.
What can patients do?
If a patient suffers as a result of cancelled NHS appointments, there could be a claim for medical negligence to make.
Each case like this must be assessed on its own merits, and there must be an incident of negligence in order for us to be able to succeed with a legal case.
Some delays may be unavoidable, and others may lead to nothing more than inconvenience. But when patients suffer, that is when we must ask the questions. That is when we must investigate whether there’s a case of negligence to answer for.
If there is, patients can be entitled to make a claim for compensation on a No Win, No Fee basis where it’s cancelled NHS appointments that’s the route cause of the problems. A claim can account for any additional pain, suffering and loss of amenity that’s caused.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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