A doctor is usually the first point of call when you have a medical problem.
Although they are trained to recognise the symptoms to diagnose your problem, they may not be trained or equipped to deal with every problem and therefore need to refer you to a specialist to help you.
Failure to refer
In most situations we become aware that we have a medical problem due to recognisable symptoms of an illness or pain following an accident.
Unfortunately many medical problems share symptoms for example a fall causing pain to your arm could be diagnosed as a sprain when it could in fact be a fracture. If it had been diagnosed as a fracture you would be referred to a specialist. However, if this is missed, you may end up with a permanent disability if your bones fail to unite or you may have to undergo corrective surgery.
The healthcare profession is highly trained to recognise symptoms and to treat them appropriately which includes referring the patient to a relevant specialist.
Unfortunately, doctors are under a lot of pressure to diagnose and treat illnesses correctly and can sometimes fail to diagnose an illness or misdiagnose an illness as something else which will result in you not being referred to the correct specialist to treat your medical problem.
Medical care and rehabilitation
Where an illness is not diagnosed and referred by a healthcare professional this can result in urgent medical care being necessary later down the line when it may have been preventable. The failure to refer to a specialist can ultimately lead to a person becoming disabled or may even result in death.
We have vast experience of working with rehabilitation units throughout the country taking an active role in providing quality information and advice to them about the extra resources that may be available. We work with rehabilitation experts both in the NHS and in the private sector to ensure the continuity of your care.
It is vital that you maximise your recovery through active rehabilitation. Our aim is to help rebuild your life by obtaining interim payments of compensation wherever possible to assist with your:
Aids and equipment
Long-term support and care
The effects of the failure to refer a patient can vary greatly. We have a wide range of contacts with organisations that can assist you and can work closely with you including:
Case managers who will assess and organise any support and care you may need;
Support workers who will visit you on a regular basis to provide you support and help;
Community rehabilitation such as occupational therapy.
When should I contact a solicitor?
You or your family should contact a solicitor as soon as possible. The sooner we can commence work on your claim the sooner we can begin to assist you.
We can advise you on your benefit rights and also advise on dealing with debts which might arise due to being off work. Our specialist community care team can also provide advice on your entitlement to health and social care support at home during the continuance of your claim.
Can I claim compensation for my medical condition?
If you have suffered unnecessarily as a result of a failure to refer or if you have been referred later than you should have been resulting in injury then you may be entitled to claim compensation where:
you have been delayed treatment as a result of failure to refer and you believe it would have been reasonable to have been referred;
you have received further treatment as a result of delayed failure to refer which you believe could have been avoidable if you had been referred earlier and you believe there were grounds to refer you earlier.
If you believe that you or someone you know has suffered as a result of medical negligence please contact Tim Spring. We deal with clients throughout the country and we will visit you at your home, hospital or rehabilitation unit.