Why do things go wrong?

There are all sorts of reasons why medical care can be unsatisfactory. Health problems are often complex, so sometimes things go wrong and it is no-one’s fault. Many procedures carry known risks, but doctors should tell you about these risks so that you can decide whether or not to go ahead with the treatment.

When things do go wrong as a result of negligence, there can be a wide range of reasons. Sometimes it is only possible to say what went wrong and not why it went wrong. In other cases, it can be very clear why the treatment went wrong – for example if systems are not followed properly or if  the appropriately trained staff are not in place.

Healthcare providers usually have their own systems to monitor when things go wrong. This provides an opportunity for them to learn from mistakes.  You might find that a hospital has produced its own “serious incident” report into your care. We often use those investigation reports to help us identify whether there might be a clinical negligence claim.

Back to FAQ's