Medication Errors – How Do I Report Them?

By Megan Crowley. Last Updated 12th January 2023. You may be wondering how to report medication errors. This guide will examine the process of doing so and will also include information on when you might be able to make a claim for a medication error.

How to report medication errors

How to report medication errors guide

In this guide, we’ll look at how medication errors can occur in healthcare environments, including in the NHS or private hospitals. We’ll explore how you can be affected by these errors and the compensation that you could be eligible to receive in a successful claim. 

We also have a team of experienced advisors that can answer any questions that you have about how to report medication errors. If your claim has a good chance of success, then you could be connected with a solicitor from our panel. 

To get in touch, you can:

  • Contact us through our online contact form
  • Call us on the number at the top of this page
  • Talk to us through our live chat

Choose A Section

  1. What are Medication Errors?
  2. How to Report Medication Errors
  3. How is Duty of Care Relevant to Medication Error Claims?
  4. Examples Of Medical Negligence Payouts UK
  5. What Evidence Do I Need When Claiming for Medication Errors?
  6. How Can No Win No Fee Solicitors Help You?
  7. Learn More About How To Report Medication Errors

What are Medication Errors?

Medication errors are defined by the NHS as patient safety incidents where there has been an error while the medication is being prescribed, prepared, dispensed, administered or monitored, or when advice is being provided on a drug.

When you seek medical attention, the person administering the care needs to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure you don’t come to unnecessary harm. If they breach this and you are harmed as a result, you could be entitled to claim.

You need to have been harmed by the breach of duty in order for you to claim. Sometimes, complications can arise even when the right level of care is administered. If this is the case, you would not be able to claim even if you were harmed.

Furthermore, the harm must be unnecessary. With certain kinds of medical treatment, including the prescribing and administering of medication, sometimes a certain level of harm might be necessary. For example, if you undergo chemotherapy to treat cancer, this might make you unwell. However, the harm you undergo is necessary in treating cancer.

If you require more information about the cause of medication errors, and when you may be able to claim for one, contact us today. 

How to Report Medication Errors

There are several channels through which medication errors can be reported. If you’re concerned about your reaction to a medication that you have been given, you can make a complaint to the facility that prescribed, administered or provided the drug. This might be a hospital, pharmacy or your GP.

In most NHS hospitals, there will be a Patient Advice and Liason Service (PALS) that can help you resolve the issue formally. You should usually make a complaint within 12 months of the incident.

Furthermore, the Yellow Card Scheme is in place for side effects from medication and medical devices. These will be reported to the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Speak to one of our advisors about how to report a medication error.

How is Duty of Care Relevant to Medication Error Claims?

You cannot claim for a medication error if it did not happen as the result of a breach of duty of care. If a medical professional provided care of an acceptable standard, and you were harmed by a breach that happened despite this, then this would not be the grounds of a valid claim.

For example, if you were given a drug that you had never taken before and it was not known that you were allergic to it, and you had a reaction to this, then you would not be able to claim. However, if you were given a drug that you had a known and recorded allergy to because your doctor did not check your medical records, and you had an allergic reaction that caused you harm, then you may be entitled to claim.

Some more examples of how a medication error could cause you harm are included below:

  • Your pharmacist is distracted when filling your prescription. As a result, they take another patient’s prescription off the shelf instead of yours. As a result, your condition gets worse as it’s not being treated.
  • You’re in the hospital and should be given a certain kind of medication through an IV. You’re given it orally in error. Because of this, it’s not effective. This is an example of a Never Event.
  • When being given a prescription, you’re told to take it on an empty stomach. However, the nurse mixes up this drug with another, and you should actually be told to take it with food. You fall ill because of this.

For more information on whether your circumstances could form the basis of a valid claim, speak with our team today. An advisor could also answer any questions you have about how to report medication errors.

Examples Of Medical Negligence Payouts UK

For successful claims for medical negligence cases, payouts in the UK will include general damages. General damages compensate you for the harm you have suffered due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care.

In the table below, we have provided some examples of medical negligence payouts in the UK for general damages. The figures we have listed have been taken from the most recent edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), updated in April 2022. The JCG is a document that lists compensation brackets for a range of different injuries at different severity levels. It is also used to help many legal professionals value claims.

However, you should only use this table as a guide. The amount of compensation you could receive will be affected by the factors of your claim, e.g., any continuing symptoms, the severity of harm you suffered, and any psychological effects,

InjuryDescription of injuryCompensation
Kidney (a)Both kidneys have been seriously damaged or lost. £169,400 to £210,400
Kidney (c)Only one kidney has been lost and the other is undamaged.£30,770 to £44,880
Bowels (a)The loss of all natural bowel function and control of urinary function. Up to £184,200
Bowels (b)Complete loss of natural function and there is a dependence on the use of a colostomy. Up to £150,110
Total Deafness and Loss Of SpeechThe speech's normal development has been affected due to deafness occurring at an early age, potentially due to a rubella infection.£109,650 to £140,660
EpilepsyEstablished Petit Mal epilepsy. How much is awarded will depend on whether attacks can be controlled with medication, and the effect on working/social life.£54,830 to £131,370
BladderSerious impairment of the bladder's control, with the person experience incontinence and some pain.£63,980 to £79,930
BladderDespite there being an almost complete recovery, the person will suffer some long-term problems with the bladder's natural function.£23,410 to £31,310
Digestive System (b)(i)Vomiting, acute pain and diarrhoea caused by severe toxicosis.£38,430 to £52,500
Spleen (a)The risk of infection is continuing due to the impact on the immune system with the spleen being lost.£20,800 to £26,290

Contact one of our friendly advisors today if you have any questions about medical compensation claims for medication errors. They could also provide you with free legal advice regarding your potential claim.

Is There Any Other Compensation I Could Receive?

Special damages cover any financial losses that you have suffered as a result of the harm medical negligence caused you. If you are looking to claim for special damages, then you would need to provide documentation of these costs as a form of evidence.

The following can be covered under special damages:

  • Loss of wages or salary due to having time off from work. You could support this by providing payslips. 
  • Loss of any future earnings. 
  • Medication expenses. You could provide receipts or prescriptions to show the money you have spent. 

A medical negligence lawyer could help you gather the evidence you need to support your claim. To see if you could be provided with one from our panel, speak with our team today.

What Evidence Do I Need When Claiming for Medication Errors?

In terms of evidence for your claim, there are several different forms that you can use to strengthen your claim. They include: 

  • Medical records. These might demonstrate the initial medication error, as well as any treatment that you’ve subsequently needed to undergo. 
  • Witness statement. Collect contact details of anyone who saw the error take place. 
  • Proof of special damages 
  • Photographs of your condition or injury as you recover, if applicable.

Speak to one of our advisors today if you need any further advice on the different types of evidence that you could use to support your claim. 

How Can No Win No Fee Solicitors Help You?

If you choose to continue with your claim, our experienced medical negligence solicitors can provide you with a No Win No Fee service. No Win No Fee is an umbrella term that includes Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA).

This kind of agreement allows you to fund the work of a lawyer without upfront payments. It also means that: 

  • There are no ongoing payments to your lawyer as the claim is ongoing. 
  • If you lose your claim, there’s nothing to pay for the work your lawyer has done.
  • If you’re awarded compensation, then your lawyer will take a legally-capped success fee from your settlement.  

For more information on the benefits of this agreement, speak with our team. If your claim has a good chance of success, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee lawyer from our panel. 

Want a Free Consultation? Contact Us Today to See If You Can Claim

You can get in touch with one of our advisors for a free consultation of your case. Here is how you can contact us: 

  • Contact us via our online contact form
  • Call us on the number at the top of the screen
  • Speak to one of our advisors using the live chat feature 

Learn More About How To Report Medication Errors

Below, we have included links to some of our guides:

We have also included the links below from other resources:

Speak to one of our advisors today for free legal advice on how to report medication errors and when one might be the basis of a valid claim.