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The NHS Operation Crisis And The Impact For Personal Injury Claimants

In a week when the NHS cancelled non-emergency operations due to the continued demands on the service, many personal injury claimants will be experiencing a difficult beginning to their 2018.

The announcement, which has also been followed by an apology from the Prime Minister, has been met with dismay by patients, many of whom have already been waiting for weeks or months for their operations. While the NHS will be quick to point out that this only affects operations described as ‘routine’, many claimants who are expecting so called routine operations to relieve the symptoms caused by their injury may still have to spend several more weeks in pain while they wait for a new operation date to be scheduled.

Hundreds of individuals every day are unfortunate enough to be the victim of negligence and to suffer injury as a result, and many of these individuals require surgery as part of their rehabilitation. The extent of the surgery can vary from person to person, sometimes involving relatively straightforward procedures, on other occasions needing extensive or complex procedures. However, even a procedure which is considered as straightforward is often still necessary to prevent pain or worsening of the injury. It must be remembered that this is not elective surgery. Claimants have not chosen to undergo the operation, they are victims of accidents caused by others and may be forced to experience further pain or injury if the operation is not carried out. Personal injury claimants should be afforded the same respect as all other patients with their needs prioritised appropriately.

If you are a personal injury claimant who was due to have an operation on the NHS which has now been cancelled, you may find the thought of having to endure a further period of time in pain as very distressing. However, there may be another option. You could elect to have the operation carried out privately and then, if the defendant is found liable or admits liability, you are likely to be able to claim the costs of the operation from the defendant or their insurer. In fact, if liability has already been admitted and medical evidence obtained, it may be possible to arrange for an interim payment to be made to cover the costs of the operation, even if the settlement of the claim has not been fully concluded at that point.

Unfortunately, with the NHS as ever being stretched to the limit, claimants will continue to live with the uncertainty of if and when their NHS operations will be carried out. However, if you are a personal injury claimant who is affected by this issue, remember to speak to your solicitor to find out what your options are in relation to claiming for private treatment. Here at JMW Solicitors, we pride ourselves on providing pro-active advice based on your individual circumstances and so, if you are one of our personal injury clients who is affected by the cancellations, we would be happy to discuss the legal implications of private treatment in your circumstances with you.

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