I was constantly kept up to date. I have used other Solicitors in the past but dealing with Goodmans Law was a whole different experience. I could not have asked for anything more.
Mrs R - rated the service from Goodmans Law as excellent
The service I received from Goodmans Law was excellent. My case handler was fantastic and could not do enough to help. I really appreciated her attention to detail.
Mrs W - rated service from Goodmans Law as excellent
I was regularly updated by Carol Hopwood and her assistant. I highly commend them both. There is nothing they could have done to improve the service I received. I would not hesitate to recommend Goodmans Law. They were fantastic.
Mr B - rated the service from Goodmans Law for his serious injury claim as excellent.
Martin Short was always very patient, courteous and explained everything in full to me. Goodmans Law are clearly a very reputable firm.
Mrs P - rated the service from Goodmans Law as excellent.
Having instructed Goodmans Law, I would not go to any other Solicitor. The service I received from my Solicitor Simon was excellent.
Mr J - rated the service from Goodmans Law as excellent.
Kate my Solicitor was fantastic. She was always professional and kept me up to date. My case settled sooner than expected and the process was not as 'painful' as I had feared.
Mrs B - rated the service from Goodmans Law as excellent.
We were very impressed with our Solicitor. We built up a good relationship and were extremely grateful for the service we received throughout a very difficult time.
Mr L - rated the service from Goodmans Law as excellent.
Whether or not you decide to seek financial compensation, the starting point for a medical negligence claim will usually be to make a formal complaint to the relevant Trust.
There is usually a 12-month time limit from the date of the act of negligence for lodging a complaint.
If available, we strongly advise all our clients to pursue this procedure before embarking on litigation.
How To Complain To the NHS
You will need to prepare a letter of complaint which includes a concise summary of events, followed by a series of questions which you would like answers to.
We recommend that this letter should be no more than a couple of pages. The more concise the letter, the less opportunity it gives the Trust to create a smoke screen within their response.
For example if your letter includes a series of minor issues, the Trust can, and often will, address these issues in the same, or in some cases greater depth than the main issue, thereby skirting around the main potential act of negligence.
Please include the title Formal letter of Complaint, and address it to the Chief Executive of the relevant Trust, or the Practice Manager if your complaint relates to your GP or Dentist.
Please then sign and send by recorded delivery to the relevant Trust and/or Surgery.
The NHS aims to provide a full investigation within 20 working days, however there is no sanction in place if this target is not met. In our experience you should receive a formal reply to your complaint in approximately 40 days time. This is termed "local resolution".
If you inform the healthcare provider that you have sought legal advice, this will provide an opportunity to the healthcare provider to refuse to deal with your complaint.
If and when you receive a written response, should you require our assistance please send the letter to us in order that we can give consideration to your claim.
Advantages of Following the NHS Complaint Procedure
If your claim is eligible for Public Funding (also known as Legal Aid), funding can be refused if efforts have not been made to pursue the NHS Complaint Procedure.
We understand that in many cases, clients are not primarily interested in financial compensation, they are merely using the legal system to obtain explanation and apologies.
The NHS Complaint Procedure has been specifically designed to provide explanations to concerned individuals. Only when our client’s are dissatisfied with the outcome of the NHS Complaints procedure or decide to pursue a compensation claim, do we recommend pursuing legal action.
From our experience, many patients are left disappointed by the complaints procedure.
Once a decision has been taken to pursue a claim, we will be able to access your complete complaint file. This is often very helpful when investigating whether you have a claim.
If the matter is not able to be resolved at local resolution level then you can request the Healthcare Commission for an "independent review" (see below for contact details). The commision is an independent body established to promote improvements in health care. You must ask the commission to review your complaint within two months of receiving a final formal written response from the Trust or practitioner about whom you made your complaint.
A member of the Commission staff will conduct an initial review of the matter with the help of expert advice if necessary. A letter with a decision and any recommendations will be sent you and the Trust or practitioner against whom you are claiming. If the Commission decides to investigate your complaint further they will agree the investigation's terms of reference with you. You and the Trust or practitioner against whom you are complaining will receive a full report of findings at the end of the investigation. If you are unhappy with the outcome of the investigation you have the right to request an independent panel to hear your concerns. The panel will consist of three members of the public who are not connected to the NHS but who have specialised training to deal with NHS complaints. The panel will hear your complaints and the views of the Trust or practitioner concerned. They may make recommendations for resolution or improving services where appropriate.
If you remain dissatisfied after local resolution and independent review then you can complain to the Health Service Ombudsman (see below for contact details). The Ombudsman is completely independent of the NHS and government. The Ombudsman is not obliged to investigate every complaint put to him and is likely not to take on an investigation, which has not been through the NHS complaints procedures. The Ombudsman is also likely not to deal with matters, which have been the subject of legal action.
The Independent Complaint Advocacy Service (ICAS) provides advice to people who want to complain about the NHS (see below for contact details for local ICAS).
FREEPOST NAT 18958
Complaint Investigation Team
Manchester M1 9XZ
Health Service Ombudsman
Mill Bank Tower
London SW1 4QP