Q. I have recently heard of a tragic case where a child died as a consequence of an optometrist failing to spot abnormalities during his eye test. Is it true that medical negligence cases extend beyond GPs and hospitals?
A. Claims for clinical negligence can be brought against any person who provides clinical services so that would include an optician, dentist, cosmetic surgeon or indeed anyone providing health services.
In this case an optometrist failed to deal with a significant build-up of fluid in the eye. Sadly it was found that the optometrist failed to refer on the youngster to a specialist. It was held that any competent optometrist would have spotted the problem and would have gone on to refer the young boy to a brain specialist. It was held by the Courts that prompt action would have saved the youngsters life.
Clinical negligence cases tend to be very complex with a detailed understanding of medicine and the law required. We are just as likely to interact with our dentist or optician as we are with a doctor.
Negligence in this area can have devastating consequences with a need for corrective treatment and significant financial loss for a client. Negligence claims are not just about receiving compensation, clients are desperate to get to the truth about what happened and why.