Standard of care

If you have suffered injury following a medical procedure or as a result of wrongful medical advice - you may be entitled to claim clinical or medical negligence and seek damages. We offer NHS complaints advice if you feel you or a relative or close one has suffered negligent care. How do you establish whether there is a claim?

Standard of care - Burden of proof

In certain situations a "duty of care" will be owed between the parties. Such a principle is well established in English law.

So the question one must ask when assessing claims of this nature is whether the doctor provided a "reasonable" standard of care which is measured against the standard that you might expect from any other competent and reasonable medical professional.

In terms of medical negligence the relationship between a doctor (or other health professional) and the patient is one that involves a clearly defined duty of care.

This means that whilst the standard of care provided does not need to be of the very highest possible, it must not fall below what a reasonable doctor would have provided in the same circumstances.

It can be difficult to establish what "reasonable" actually means and this is why clinical negligence claims can be complex and lengthy.  The burden of proof in this area of law is entirely upon the claimant.  To pursue a claim you must show that the standard of care fell below a reasonable standard.

The next issue to consider is one of causation.