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Read more articles in: Blog, Dispute Resolution, Lorraine Walker

How do I raise a dispute with my healthcare provider?

When you visit a doctor or other healthcare provider, you expect a sufficient level of care that prioritises your needs, safety and wellbeing.

While this is true across all service sectors, medical professionals have an additional duty of care and standard of service because of the vulnerability of patients and the potential for serious health-related consequences if an error is made.

If you have had a negative experience with a healthcare provider which has resulted in distress, financial loss or poor health outcomes as a result, then you may be thinking about raising a dispute with your provider.

Causes of medical civil disputes

A civil dispute against a medical professional might be raised when your healthcare provider has committed an act which contravenes legislation or a contractual agreement, such as:

  • Medical negligence: This occurs when a medical professional fails to provide the standard of care expected, resulting in injury or worsening of the patient’s condition. Examples include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and improper treatment.
  • Breach of duty: When a medical professional does not fulfil their duty of care towards a patient, leading to harm.
  • Consent issues: If a medical professional performs a procedure without the patient’s informed consent, this can be grounds for a dispute.

Due to the vulnerability of patients within a medical setting, there may be more cause for a dispute than in other sectors.

What does the dispute process look like?

With the right support, raising a dispute with a doctor or healthcare provider can be fairly straightforward. You may be expected to attempt an informal resolution before taking formal action, unless the matter is particularly serious or you feel that you are endangered.

The process typically looks as follows:

  • Formal complaint – You may need to give the clinic or practice where the incident took place the opportunity to address it internally by following their official complaints procedure.
  • Advice and evidence – If this does not provide a satisfactory outcome, you might then seek advice from a specialist solicitor and, if your case is determined to be viable, you’ll then need to gather evidence and testimony to support you.
  • Filing with the Courts – Your solicitor will help you file a formal dispute with the Court and advocate for you at any appearances.
  • Negotiations – Once a case has been filed, you may find that your solicitor can negotiate a settlement before the need for further Court proceedings, which can be costly and stressful.

We know that a dispute with a medical professional can be a distressing situation for you, so we’re here to help advise you on the process and support you as you prepare your case.

To raise a civil dispute with a healthcare provider or seek advice on your situation, please contact our Dispute Resolution team today.

Lorraine Walker

Solicitor – litigation and dispute resolution

Prior to qualifying as a solicitor, I worked within the education sector as a senior leader in a secondary school.