What are the psychological impacts of medical negligence ?

psychological impacts of medical negligence
psychological impacts of medical negligence

psychological impacts of medical negligence

Across the UK, it’s estimated that a staggering £3.5 billion was paid out off the back of medical negligence claims in 2021/21. With medical negligence cases on the rise, it’s not uncommon to think about the physical side effects medical negligence has on patients. Yet there’s evidence to suggest that medical negligence has wide-ranging psychological impacts too. What are the psychological impacts of medical negligence ?

Read on to find out what exactly constitutes medical negligence and how that impacts the victims. 

What is medical negligence?

Firstly, it’s important to remember that a negative treatment outcome does not mean your doctor has been negligent. If something goes wrong with routine surgery, or your condition deteriorates, this won’t always be considered medical negligence. 

Broadly speaking, medical negligence only occurs if the healthcare providers action or inaction fell short of what was reasonably expected as the standard of care for routine practices. 

It must be proven that the doctor failed to provide the standard of care that a similarly skilled healthcare professional would have provided. Medical treatment does not have to be completely perfect – doctors are human after all. 

Quick facts about medical negligence:

If you’re wondering what the process is for bringing a medical negligence claim, we’ve compiled some quick ‘need-to-knows’ below. 

  • If you’ve experienced medical negligence, you should firstly make a complaint. It’s far easier and less stressful to do this instead of starting legal proceedings. 
  • If you wish to make a legal challenge, you’ll need to make this within three years or you may be barred from making a claim. 
  • If you’re thinking about going to court, you’ll need to hire a medical negligence solicitor. Luckily, they often operate on a No Win No Fee basis. 
  • If you’re psychologically impacted by medical negligence, there are plenty of online resources to help you through difficult times. 

What are the potential psychological impacts of medical negligence?

Unfortunately, following medical negligence, many patients feel anger and frustration at medical professionals. But the psychological impacts can be far wider reaching than initial anger and frustration. Just some of the impacts of medical negligence include:

  • Psychological reactions to ongoing pain – many patients will suffer from unnecessary pain following medical negligence. With their quality of life compromised, this often leads to depression and anxiety, which can be equally as debilitating for patients.
  • Self-blame and regret – it’s not uncommon for victims of medical negligence to blame themselves for an accident. This self-blame and regret can make it difficult for patients to move past their incident to focus on their future. 
  • PTSD – in more severe cases, if the medical negligence caused the victim to experience an extremely distressing experience, it’s not uncommon for patients to develop PTSD. As well as forcing victims to relive their experiences, PTSD can push patients to avoid further treatment by avoiding hospitals altogether. 

The bottom line is that medical negligence has far reaching implications for patients, some of which are not always obvious. If you believe you are suffering from the impacts of medical negligence psychologically, it’s important to reach out to a legal professional to try and win you the compensation you deserve. Luckily there are plenty of experienced, compassionate professionals on your side.