When a woman begins to feel something wrong in her body, the woman’s point of call is to visit the gynaecologist. Your gynaecologist is expected to listen to you, take note of your symptoms and should conduct all necessary tests in order to make the right diagnosis.
If your gynaecologist failed to refer you for appropriate tests, makes unnecessary mistakes, misdiagnoses or failed to diagnose your illness, it can lead to both traumatic and life-changing injuries which can plague you for life. When this happens, you may have strong grounds to make a claim and be entitled to a Medical Negligence claims compensation.
Gynaecology negligence claims therefore refers to when an individual takes legal action against a gynecologist for actions or inactions, substandard care and other forms of negligent treatment which have caused the individual avoidable harm, pain, trauma or complications.
Why make Gynaecology Negligence Claims?
It is important that you make claims for gynaecological negligence if you or a loved one has suffered unnecessarily for you to obtain a deserving compensation amount for your losses and suffering.
Asides from being compensated, making compensation claims is one of the effective ways of making the hospital or NHS make adequate improvements to avoid a recurrence of the unfortunate incident.
Making claims is therefore more than just being compensated, it is more about making the institution you are claiming against see their wrongdoing and take necessary precautions to forestall any future occurrence.
A Gynaecologist Duty Of Care
Like every other medical professional, gynaecologists owe a duty of care to their patients. They are therefore to ensure that they provide accurate, standard and effective medical care to their patients in a clean, safe and conducive environment.
In general, they are expected to carry out the following;
- Perform periodic check-ups and routine medical examinations
- Perform surgical procedures accurately
- Perform scans and interpret scan results appropriately
- Monitor the development of the foetus and health of the mother during pregnancy
- Manage high risk cases professionally, example; pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH)
- Spot early warning signs for cervical, ovarian cancer, etc.
- Diagnose ectopic pregnancies
- Selecting an appropriate delivery method, opting for the proper assisted delivery method when necessary
- Interpret cardiotocography (CTG) traces of the baby’s heart rate, quickly diagnose any abnormality and recognise the need for birth by C-Section, if need be.
- Manage delivery of the baby appropriately to avoid unnecessary damage to the mother and baby.
- Avoid damage to the patient’s bladder, uterus and bowel during C-section
- Suture episiotomies correctly
When a gynaecologist fails to perform these functions as expected from him or her, it can lead to very traumatic and devastating outcomes. In cases such as this, you may have strong grounds to make a claim
Gynaecology Claims We Handle
The following are some of the gynaecology claims we undertake;
- Pregnancy Injury Claims
- Erb’s palsy compensation claims
- Sterilization failure compensation
- Medical negligence infertility claims
- Wrongful pregnancy claim
- Failed Sterilisation Claims
- Birth injury claims
- Cerebral palsy claims
- Stillbirth and neonatal negligence claims
- GP negligence claims
Unfortunately, in severe cases, errors in obstetric care can cause injuries both to the mother and to the unborn baby. Possible outcomes include cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy (also known as obstetric brachial plexus injury or OBPI), dislocated hips and, in the worst cases, death.
Medical Negligence In Gynaecology Treatment
Medical negligence can happen in several ways in obstetrics and gynaecology care. When they occur, they can cause harm to either the mother or the unborn baby or both of them. For example, negligence during childbirth can cause cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy or even lead to fatality.
The following are examples of medical negligence in gynaecology treatment;
- Failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis or wrong diagnosis of, illnesses and cancer conditions such as cervical cancer, endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer
- Failure to carry out the proper tests, scans before making diagnosis or dismissing patient complaints. For example, failing to carry out smear tests to diagnose cervical cancer
- Mistakes during IVF procedures
- Failing to follow up on abnormal cervical smear results.
- Surgical mistakes, such as avoidable injuries to the bowel or bladder during hysterectomies or caesarean section
- Negligent forceps delivery causing injury to mother and child
- Wrong choice of assisted delivery technique. For instance, electing to carry out forceps when Caesarean section is recommended
- Failure to diagnose third degree tears after childbirth
- Mistake in taking a patient’s history
- Misinterpreting the scan or test results, failing to read X-rays correctly
- Wrong treatment or prescribing the wrong medication
- Retained swabs and retained instruments
- Not taking the patient’s medical history into account or mistakes while taking patient’s history
- Neglecting the patient
- Tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) damage to obturator nerve
- Keyhole surgery (laparoscopy) errors
- Episiotomy in the wrong place and inadequate repairs to episiotomy and tears
- Unnecessary hysterectomies
- Poorly performed surgical techniques including colposcopy, dilatation and curettage as well as pelvic floor procedures
- Incorrect insertion of an intrauterine contraceptive coil
- Failing to get proper consent of the patient before performing any medical procedures
- Inadequate post-surgical monitoring
- Failed tubal ligation (failed sterilisation).
- Failed abortions.
How Do I Prove My Gynaecology Negligence Claim?
In order to prove your gynaecology negligence claim, you will have to establish that your gynaecologist indeed acted negligently, failing in his or her duty of care and that such breach of duty of care caused you to suffer unnecessary pain and complications.
You therefore need to demonstrate both liability and causation. This simply means that you need to show the relationship or causal link between the action of your doctor and the complications, trauma and pain you are passing through.
In summary, you will need to demonstrate that-
- Your Gynaecologist owed you a duty of care
- He or she breached or failed in that duty of care
- You have suffered unnecessary pain, trauma, complications or losses due to that breach of duty of care
There are several documents our solicitors will require from you to help prove this claim. We can also assist you make them available if you are unable to bring them. Also, we will make available to you a Medical Specialist who will examine the mother and child and give a proper report of your condition. This report will be very vital in the claims process.
These documents include;
- Detailed statements including dates of appointment, the hospital staff who attended to you, and how the events transpired
- Medical test results and scans
- Witness statements
- Evidence of financial losses incurred, out-of-tree expenses
- Medical Report from an independent medical expert
The Medical Negligence Claims Procedure
We offer a free consultation session, where our expert Medical Negligence Solicitors will listen to your story, make professional assessment of your case and also explain to you in very clear and unambiguous terms what the claims process entails.
Below is a summary of the steps to make your gynaecological negligence claims process;
- Speak with your lawyer
- Fund Your Claim
- Gather your Evidence
- Proving liability
- Negotiations between both parties
- Agreement of Settlement Fee and Payment of Settlement
NHS Complaints Procedure
You may wish to make complaints before making you actual claims to help you understand really what went wrong, and know if you really have a claim. If that be the case, you will need to write to the NHS requesting explanations for what happened to you.
Your complaint’s letter should get to the NHS within 12months of becoming aware of the medical negligence you suffered and should be addressed to the Practice Manager or the NHS commissioning body. The NHS PALS can also guide you on how to make your complaints.
Your letter should be written in a precise manner and devoid of any abusive remarks. The NHS will notify you upon receipt of your letter within 4 working days. You will also get a formal response to your complaint usually with four months
The following information should be added to your complaint letter
- The main subject or title of your complaint
- The gynaecologist involved
- Full statement of what happened
- How you would want to be contacted for further discussions
If you wish to make a complaint on behalf of a loved one, you may be required to show proof that you are the next of kin or were authorized to make complaints on their behalf.
If your complaints were not handled to your satisfaction by the NHS during the first resolution stage, the next thing to do is to write to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). The PHSO is an independent body from the NHS and the government which makes investigations into medical negligence complaints that were not resolved in the local resolution stage.
You will need to keep safe all documents pertaining to your original complaints as they will be required while writing to the PHSO. You can find guidelines on how to make your complaints to the Ombudsman on their website.
Alternatively, If you require our help with your complaints, we will be glad to assist you.
How Much Compensation Can I Get For My Gynaecology Negligence Claim?
Obstetrics and gynaecology injuries are different in terms of location, type and severity. This therefore affects the amount you will receive as compensation because settlement payout is not fixed but depends on the issues surrounding your case.
Gynaecological compensation payouts can sometimes be large especially where it affects the child such that it will reflect the lifelong care that the child may need as well as other life-changing disabling conditions the mother may have suffered. Additionally, if specialist equipment will be needed, rehabilitative, mobility or assistive devices to make life easier, it will also reflect on the total settlement payout. Also, financial losses, future prognosis, travel expenses for medical appointments and costs of further treatment, costs of hiring caregivers and housing adjustments also play their part in determining the final compensation amount.
According to the NHS, the average medical negligence claims compensation amount is £50,000. However, compensation amounts for medical negligence range between £1,000 to several millions of pounds.
Time Limit For Making A Negligence Claim
The Limitation Act of 1980 stipulates a three-year time limit for making a negligence claim which is counted from the date the medical negligence occurred or your date of becoming aware of it.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. Please read out medical negligence time limit page for more on this.
Why Choose Medical Negligence Direct?
Medical negligence solicitors at Medical Negligence Direct are specialists in gynaecology negligence claims.
Our solicitors are authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We have many years of experience handling different medical negligence claims. In terms of gynaecological negligence claims, we have represented women who have suffered wrongful pregnancy after female sterilisation, medical negligence leading to infertility as well as misdiagnosed miscarriage.
We have also been able to secure for clients, compensation for unnecessary hysterectomy, sterilization failure compensation among other obstetrics and gynaecology related medical negligence claims. Our legal team is very friendly, approachable and dedicated to ensure that clients get the best possible legal representation. Our female advisors are also very sympathetic, understand what you must be going through and know how best to present your case.
Our aim is to help you put behind the unfortunate incident and assist you in whatever way you require to recover fully or as much as is possible given the situation you find yourself in. We share in your burden and will do all we can to see that the claims process is smooth and stress free for you. We will also secure interim payments for you to help with your financial needs.
Importantly, we undertake your claims on a no-win-no-fee basis, meaning that there is no financial risk to you. You do not have to put off making your claims for fear of legal fees. Even if the claims are not successful, you will not be required to make any payments.