Does medical negligence only happen at hospital?

Does medical negligence only happen at hospital?

Have you ever questioned where medical negligence can happen? How about if clinical negligence claims can only be brought against injury or harm you received as a result of hospital treatment?

Well, the short answer is no. Medical negligence can happen anywhere that a health service was provided. While this is not restricted to traditional healthcare environments, a health service must have taken place at the time of incident.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Outpatient or admitted patient receiving hospital treatment or surgery
  • A GP surgery
  • Private or NHS dentist
  • Chiropodist
  • Optician
  • Private health clinic
  • Care homes
  • Home visits

A claim can be brought against anyone who owes you a medical duty of care. Who you claim against will depend on where the incident took place and who treatment was provided by. If this was at hospital, any claims will be against the NHS Trust rather than individual clinician responsible; other cases may be against a specific healthcare professional, such as your dentist or optician.

Some claimants worry that any future treatment by said health practitioner will have detrimental consequences, particularly hostility or discrimination, if they sue them for improper or negligent care. Remember: as a victim of medical negligence, you are not to blame for what happened to you. You have a right to receive answers, justice and financial compensation.

At Medical Solicitors, our experienced team have supported clients who have faced such wide ranging injuries, pain and suffering within various health-based settings.

Dental Negligence Case Study:

Our senior solicitor, Christine Brown, recently won £75,000 damages for a 66-year-old woman who had failed dental implants over ten years ago and which have consequently affected her quality of life.

In 2009, the claimant, then 57, was advised by a private dentist to have multiple upper teeth removed and replaced by dental implants and implant-supported bridges as permanent solutions to missing teeth. This cost over £5,000 and was guaranteed for ten years.

However, within months she noticed sloping which was dismissed as a drooping lip. By 2014, three of the implants had come loose and a bridge could be easily removed. A second opinion confirmed this was due to severe bone loss and poor bone quality – the implants were the wrong type and had been overloaded into insufficient gum space.

Implantology is already an invasive procedure, but our client then had to have further restorative dentistry including a bone graft and subsequently had to wear partial dentures. This left her with severe pain, social anxiety, a limited diet of soft foods, and lasting psychological distress.

The compensation awarded included £35,000 for pain and suffering, plus £40,000 special damages which encompassed past and future dental treatment costs, psychotherapy treatment and travel costs.

Residential Care Home Negligence Case Study:

Another medical negligence case settled by Medical Solicitors outside the typical clinical setting remit is that of a lady who sadly died while in residential care.

We were contacted by the daughter of the deceased lady who wanted answers as to her mother’s death. She had dementia and it was found that she choked on food which care home staff failed to cut up small enough, despite guidance and advice regarding swallowing problems in people with dementia and Alzhemier’s disease.

This case was handled by our litigation executive, Sonia Parkes, who alleged improper food preparation led to the woman’s death. The Coroner at Inquest also backed this finding as the cause of death.  The defendants at first admitted liability and then withdrew it as they had provided it prior to us sending a letter of claim. They claimed a forensic pathologist’s report disagreed with our pathologist’s findings. But our team argued about causation and the standard of proof on clinical negligence claims; the defendants came back and made an offer that was acceptable to our clients and included a bereavement award and funeral expenses.


Find our A-Z of types of medical negligence claims here.

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