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When a misdiagnosis can leave you out of pocket

Since 2012, the NHS has received just under 8,000 misdiagnosed claims against it, with a total value of £1,024 billion worth of successful damages awarded in England. With such overwhelming numbers, it is easy to understand why many are left feeling angry at this situation. With some channelling their dissent towards the government for the lack of funding and training for the NHS, some towards those who make the claims, arguing that people should not make a claim against our national health service.

However, when it comes to the latter, a lack of information and under education about the financial consequences of a misdiagnosed or untreated condition means many people are ignorant to the costs facing those who are failed by our health  the costs of the negligence of the average citizen of Great Britain.

How could a person be eligible for compensation for misdiagnosis?

Imagine that you fall ill and need to take time off work for doctor’s appointments and hospital tests. You may also need to take time off due to your symptoms. Without full sick pay, these days are lost income. If you are diagnosed correctly, this can be a small and expected financial loss. With a misdiagnosis, or a delayed diagnosis this time off can quickly begin to add up – and you may find your employer unsympathetic to repeated absences without a confirmed or official diagnosis. It is possible to face disciplinary action from your job, or continue to lose work if self-employed. With this, it is easy to see how the cost of a misdiagnosis can slowly start to rise.

In cases where misdiagnosis leads to wrong treatment, some are left unable to work or live as they once did – making compensation a vital lifeline for financial security.

Another unfortunate reality is that a misdiagnosed condition can get worse, with the person in question needing additional care. Residential care home fees or private at home care staff is not always funded by the council and the type of help you need may be limited. Without an actual diagnosis it becomes more difficult to get help from your local council or charities.

Life altering disabilities can also result from being misdiagnosed with a condition as a baby. People who have suffered this may be awarded with compensation to ensure lifelong financial security. In later life, those whose cancer is misdiagnosed, for example, may be awarded compensation due to their lost treatment time.   

No two cases of misdiagnosis are the same, although there are trends. Therefore, misdiagnosis compensation is awarded based on a case by case basis. It is important to consider it as an option though, as a misdiagnosed condition can seriously affect your financial health, as well as your physical health.  

Oliver

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