Medical Negligence at Watford General Hospital

Medical Negligence at Watford General Hospital

Watford General Hospital is part of the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which also includes Hemel Hempstead Hospital and St Albans City Hospital. Watford General Hospital provides inpatient emergency care for those who require emergency treatment, as well as providing a full range of other inpatient and outpatient services. The hospital boasts approximate 600 beds and nine operating theatres.

Watford General Hospital also provides neonatal care with the maternity services being one of the largest in south-east England.

In many respects Watford General Hospital provides good services, according to the CQC, but even in a good hospital there is always the risk that an innocent error or mistake could be made, which may result in lifelong harmful consequences for the patient.

Although the risk of suffering harm as a consequence of medical negligence at the hospital, is low, in those cases where it does occur, it may have long-term effects for the patient and their family.

How do I make a Watford General Hospital Medical Negligence Claim?

If you would like to talk to a medical negligence expert lawyer, with no obligation, to find out if you or a family member may be entitled to compensation as a result of substandard care, call 0333 123 9099, email enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk or use the enquiry form to request a call back.

We will ask you to provide a limited amount of information and within a few minutes we are likely to be able to tell you if you can make a claim for medical negligence compensation.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) report-Watford General Hospital

The CQC published its inspection report in 2019, following an inspection that took place over approximately six weeks between 16 October-30 November 2018. The inspectors reviewed urgent and emergency care, medical care, maternity and surgery. Although there are areas of good practice, the inspectors overall rating remained as per the previous inspection, that it “requires improvement”. This means that the hospital isn’t performing as well as it should and that the inspectors have told the hospital how it must improve.

In respect of specific services, in the domains of “effective” and “caring” the hospital remained “good” overall. The area in which the hospital is required to improve is in respect of “responsive”. The inspectors reported that not all patients could access services when they required. Waiting times, to be seen for treatment, were generally higher (worse) than the England average. Specifically, in respect of waiting for surgery, such waiting times from referral to treatment and arrangements to admit, treat and discharge patients, were not in line with good practice. In maternity, delays were reported in antenatal clinic waiting times. Finally, complaints were not dealt with in a timely manner across the urgent and emergency care services.

Do you deal with my medical negligence claim?

We are specialist medical negligence solicitors, lawyers with expertise and experience in dealing with a range of injuries and illnesses, as well as fatalities, arising out of mistakes, errors and a low standard of care at many hospitals across the country. These include hospitals local to our offices, including Hillingdon Hospital, Ealing Hospital and Northwick Park Hospital.

It is not possible to list all the types of claims that we have made on behalf of patients but list below some of our areas of expertise.

Why ask IBB Claims Solicitors to act on your behalf?

We are accredited by the Law Society for Personal Injury Law reflecting our expertise in this area. IBB Claims’ partner Malcolm Underhill has particular expertise with all types of brain injuries, being accredited as a Brain Injury Specialist by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

Our team is recognised by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, the two leading client guides to the legal profession, for our exceptional skill in handling clinical negligence claims.

Legal 500 judges IBB as having a “good” clinical negligence department and “puts the client’s interests at the forefront of every decision.” Simon Pimlott has “a real eye for detail and works incredibly hard to get the best result for each client.”  Simon has also been described by the publication as a “Rising Star”.

Chambers describes Malcolm as being a highly experienced personal injury practitioner with a strong focus on cases that involve brain injury. A client notes: "He is a very personable, sympathetic professional that has helped us as a family….."

When should I make a  Watford General Hospital medical negligence claim?

In theory, there is no rush to make a claim for compensation against Watford General Hospital. This is because a patient has three years from the time they suffered harm, due to negligence, error, mistake or substandard treatment, to make the claim for financial medical negligence compensation.

However, it is sensible to proceed with the claim as soon as possible for a number of reasons.

First, it is likely to mean that the patient will receive their compensation quicker.

Second, seeking legal advice promptly will ensure that the patient’s (and their family) recollection of events will still be fresh in their minds and thus they will provide a detailed history of events. Although medical records will record details of treatment, the records do not record every aspect of a patient’s care and therefore a patient’s own experiences of the treatment and care are important, when determining the prospects of making a successful claim.

Thirdly, the hospital may not accept legal responsibility for the harm suffered by the patient, in which case further investigation may be required. If further investigation is required, that will have to be completed well within the three-year timeframe.

If a claim is not made within three years then irrespective of the seriousness of the error or mistake, or substandard treatment, or the harm and injury caused to the patient, it will not be possible to proceed with a claim. The claim will be out of time, otherwise known as being statute barred.

Therefore, even though three years is a long period of time it is important to seek legal advice promptly, if only to ensure that compensation is obtained at the earliest possible date.

Where a patient has died due to hospital medical negligence the family have three years from the date of death in order to bring a claim. In the event that a patient dies in hospital in circumstances where they should not have done so, it is possible that the local coroner will decide to hold an inquest to establish how the patient died.

It can be important to have legal representation at the inquest to fight on behalf of the family, to ascertain what happened and what may have gone wrong in the treatment of the deceased. Although the family can represent themselves in a coroner’s court and do not require legal representation, the hospital will be represented by a solicitor and/or a barrister and therefore it is likely to be important for the family to have equal representation to ensure they are properly represented at the coroner’s inquest

How do I make a Watford General Hospital medical negligence claim?

If you would like to know if you may be entitled to medical negligence compensation, call 0333 123 9099, email enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk or use the enquiry form to request a call back.

We will listen to your experience at Watford General Hospital and advise you promptly, if you have reasonable prospects of making a successful claim for medical negligence compensation for the harm suffered.

Where is IBB claims?

Our offices are in Uxbridge and therefore well placed to meet you, to discuss how we can help you make a Watford General Hospital medical negligence claim. We also have offices in Chesham and Reading