What does a doctor have to tell you if your medical treatment goes wrong?

It would be reasonable to assume that if something went wrong with your medical treatment and, as a result, you suffered some degree of harm that your doctor would have an obligation to explain this to you.

As a result of the enquiries into the deaths arising as a result of the appalling care provided by Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, things are changing. Last year, a change in the NHS Standard Contract now provides that any reportable or suspected patient safety incident resulting in moderate or severe harm or the death of a patient must be investigated and reported to the patient or the patient’s family, within 10 days. The Government has also drafted legislation to introduce a statutory duty of candour which also provides that a patient or their family must be advised in similar circumstances.

However, both the contractual and statutory duties of candour relate to the NHS organisation rather than individual treating clinicians.It is to be hoped that these duties of candour will result in much more open and honest explanations being provided to patients and their families when something has gone wrong with their medical treatment. We shall have to wait and see, although we haven’t noticed any significant change so far.In the meantime, if you believe that you have suffered an injury as a result of your medical treatment and you do not believe that you have received a full explanation of what happened, Wolferstans’ team of accredited clinical negligence specialist lawyers are available to help you to find out the truth.If you like to get in touch to have a free initial discussion, without any obligation, please contact Ann Ball on 01752 292374, email her at aball@wolferstans.com or come to our free legal clinic.

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