In the UK we are lucky enough to have the NHS which offers free health care to everyone. For the most part, this means that we all have access to high-quality medical care including emergency care, pregnancy, birth and neonatal care, and mental health support without having to worry about the financial impact it may have. However, very occasionally we can feel as if our doctors or other medical professionals have let us down in some way, and this can be a very challenging position to be in. The good news is you can find out what to do if your medical professional lets you down in the post below.
Ask for a second opinion
One option if you feel that you are not being listened to, or if you disagree with a diagnosis or treatment program for your condition is to get a second opinion. This can be helpful because medicine is a very complex subject and not all professionals agree on the best course of action.
To get a second opinion it may be as simple as requesting one from your GP, or specialist. However, in some cases, you may need to be re-referred to a specialist. If you are struggling to get a second option, patient advocate charities in the UK can help you with your request.
Review the NICE guidelines
Another way you can deal with your medical professional letting you down is to take a look at the NICE guidelines that cover your condition. NICE is the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and they have created detailed guidelines that outline the care and treatment you can expect for a whole range of physical and mental health conditions.
By examining the NICE guidelines you can check that your medical professional is following the correct protocol. You can also discuss any situation in which they are not doing this, in reference to the NICE guidelines which can highlight to them where they are going wrong, and how to correct it.
In some cases, if a medical professional has let you down it may make sense to explore the possibility of compensation. For example, in birth negligence cases working with a cerebral palsy solicitor can help you establish whether there is enough evidence to bring a case in court against your medical provider. If your case is successful this can result not only in compensation that you can use to provide the proper long-term care for your child, but also often results in changes to medical procedures which minimises the risk of the same mistakes happening again.
Make a formal complaint
Last of all, if you feel that your medical provider has let you down, it can be worth making a formal complaint. To do this you need to contact your local integrated care board (ICB) as they are set up to deal with such issues. However, it is worth noting that the result of your complaint may take some time to come into effect, especially if they have to gather evidence.
Early Years Nutrition Consultant
Food & Health Writer
Presenter on Early Years TV Food