Emergency & Urgent Care Claims

Clinical negligence in emergency & urgent care

Could your out-of-hours experience be described as NHS clinical negligence? Did the Scottish Ambulance Service let you down? There are many things that can go wrong in an emergency, many of which can have devastating consequences. If you feel that the medical care you accessed through NHS 24, out-of-hours services or the Scottish Ambulance Service was below an acceptable standard and you suffered an injury as a result, you may wish to seek medical advice.

In some unfortunate cases, negligent actions of these services may have resulted in the death of a loved one and it is important that you understand what went wrong. We can help with claims against NHS 24, out of hours services and the Scottish Ambulance service.

L&M MediLaw is led by Elizabeth Rose, an accredited specialist in medical negligence. We often help people who have to make a claim for compensation where something has gone wrong, and offer legal assistance on a no win, no fee basis.

To discuss your circumstances with a lawyer who can help, call us today on 0141 471 3078 or complete our online contact form and we will get back to you without delay.

Graphic of a medical emergency scene - Clinical negligence claims for emergency and urgent care

Urgent and Emergency care in Scotland

Urgent and emergency care needs are ordinarily accessed via NHS 24 using their 111 service.  If however the patient is needing immediate emergency medical treatment then 999 should be dialled and an ambulance requested.

Emergency care from NHS 24 and 999

Call operators both in NHS 24 and in the emergency control room are trained in triaging calls and arranging urgent care, often in high pressure dynamic situations.

NHS 24 call operators work closely with nursing advisors who assist with triaging and nurse advisors will often provide advice direct to the patient over the phone. If the nurse advisor feels the patient requires a physical assessment, NHS 24 will arrange for that patient to either see a GP through the Out of Hours Service or alternatively will advise a visit to an A&E department or Minor Injuries Unit. If very concerned they will arrange an ambulance for the patient.

The Scottish Ambulance Service

The Scottish Ambulance Service will also triage calls according to the severity of the patient’s injury or illness. Wait times on a first responder or ambulance with a paramedic crew will depend on how the call has been triaged and any updates that have been provided to the call operator. For instance, if the patient was worsening then the call would be triaged again.

If you feel the care received was inadequate

Both NHS 24/Out of Hours Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service will ordinarily deliver high quality urgent care. However, occasionally standards can fall below what is acceptable. In these instances, you are able to complain directly to the Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS 24. 

The details of their complaints handling procedure is available on their websites. If the incident resulted in a serious injury or death then an internal review process would be triggered under the ‘Duty of Candour’ procedure and you or a family member would be contacted directly.

Taking things further with L&M MediLaw

You may also want to take things further and seek legal advice. L&M MediLaw will listen to you on a confidential basis and ask you what happened, who provided or failed to provide the care and what the outcome was.

We will also ask you why you believe the care was below the acceptable standard. For instance, you may feel that your call was not triaged correctly with NHS 24 or that you were given incorrect or misleading advice. If the incident involved the Scottish Ambulance Service, you may  believe that you waited too long for an ambulance or that necessary equipment was not available/not working.

L&M MediLaw will assess your case and if there are reasonable grounds for taking things forward, will open up your case and recover all the necessary information. We may need to recover the audio recordings from either NHS 24 or the Scottish Ambulance Service together with your hospital and GP records.

If advised, we will then instruct a suitable independent expert to comment on the actions of the ‘at fault’ professional. So for instance, if it was a case of alleged poor advice provided by a nurse advisor at NHS 24, we would instruct a nursing expert to comment on this advice. If this report is supportive we would require other report(s) to comment on what the outcome was a result of the actions of the at fault party i.e whether there has been an injury due to their actions. Only if all reports are supportive would a claim be intimated to either the Scottish Ambulance Service or the appropriate representative of NHS 24.

The representative of the at fault professional would then require to investigate matters and confirm whether they were willing to accept responsibility for what happened and settle the case or whether they intend to the defend the actions of the individual(s).

L&M MediLaw will fully advise you on whether a court action will be necessary and will fully prepare the case for this should the case require to be progressed through the courts.

No matter what path the case takes, L&M MediLaw will provide accessible straightforward advice, will fully support you throughout your legal journey and will always be compassionate and treat you as an individual.

Contact our NHS 24, out of hours and ambulance negligence claims solicitors in Glasgow today

Everyone receiving urgent care should receive the best medical care possible. When you have been failed by a medical professional, L&M MediLaw can support you with compassionate, professional legal services. We have offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh city centre and serve clients all across Scotland.

To discuss your case with a solicitor you can trust, call us today on 0141 471 3078 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you without delay.