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Prescription Claim

Our Panel Member Solicitors can make a Prescription Claim find out more or have an initial case assessment here or read on for more information.

Ready for a Free Claims Assessment – Read More Here

GP Prescription Claim / Actions against Chemists for medication errors

prescription claim
There is an inevitablity that with so many medicaitons in dialy use, there is likely to be a prescription claim eventually from the community. There is a lot you can do to prevent this but ultimately the responsibility for medicaiton security rests with the clinicians and prescribers.

It is improtant to note that a prescription claim is rare. The management of prescription medicine can be challenging. In spite of that medication errors are not widespread but a prescription claim can happen and does happen. Part of the reason why they are rare, though is an awareness, now growing in the profession of technological advancement that makes the process of prescription more secure. Of course mistakes creep in. A GP above all is aware that the responsibility for maintaining and establishing regular and appropriate medication use falls on them. It is not enough to simply say “take this pill” and then sit back and wait for improvements to show.  A patient will bring a prescription claim if medication is incorrect, inefficient or insufficient in dose.

Medication must be regularly assessed. It must be questioned whether it is effective. There has to be consideration whether an increase or decrease in dose is appropriate. GP’s should ask themselves whether the patient is still responding adequately to it. If necessary, is there is any real advantage  in continuing or stopping medication or even in changing to a more efficient medication? Ignorance of this is essentially a prescription error waiting to happen.

There are a great many solicitors out there offering no win no fee agreements.  You will see from our various pages, many of these agreements have hidden clauses. These tend to revolve around irrecoverable costs and insurance premiums. Not with our members though. We have a unique 20% deduction. This 20% applies only if you win and never anything more. If you lose, then there is nothing to pay at all. Nobody out there that we know of offers a better deal. 

If I take the wrong medicine is it my fault?

medication pills often change shape and colour it will not avoid a prescription claim
pills are not coloured or shaped by some code of presentation. Different manufacterers use different coloourings and shapes according to thier manufacturing techniques. Patients become aware that the packaging and colour may vary and just ignore it. Frankly that is reasonable, it is not a defence to say “you should have noticed” it will not prevent a prescription claim by passing the buck.

Generally this defence is not one that the pharmacological / medical profession falls back on regularly. Ultimately, these days, medication provided to the NHS by big pharmaceutical companies changes packaging and colour regularly. It is difficult to identify medicines just by sight. Usually within a few years of new medication being released, it has been copied and reproduced under licence by hundreds of factories around the world. So just because you used to get a small red pill doesn’t mean that you should be suspicious if you receive a small blue one.  A prescription claim cannot be defended so easily.

It should be said, if the dosage is very noticeably different so that if your pill changes from a 5 mg to a 500 mg one, then it could be reasonable to suggest that you should have noticed. That alone however, may not prevent you from making a prescription claim. It may mean that you have been “contributory negligent” ie you contributed to the problem.

Typically that is the first line of defence to these prescription error claims. However, this should not put you off. Ultimately you should have received the correct medication and that is that Whilst there may be criticism ultimately that responsibility which falls on you as a patient is nothing compared to that of the professionals who serve you.

If you have suffered negligence as a result of medication error then call 01904-914-989 or email on info@law-med.co.uk

Can I claim compensation for medication or prescription error?

Any Chemist or Pharmacy has a duty of care to you. They should ensure you do not receive a drug which will harm your health. Pharmacists are qualified professionals and they have well defined routines to minimise the risk of incorrect dosing or wrongful dosing. It has to be recognised that risk still exists and mistakes are still made. Regardless of whether the prescription is a private or NHS one, with 3 million prescription medications a day, it is almost inevitable that occasionally there will be a mishap and a prescription claim will follow.

If you have received a dose of incorrect medication from your pharmacist and it has caused you either a reaction or it has prevented your underlying condition to get worse, and it has happened within the last three years, then you may have legitimate grounds to claim compensation for pharmacy negligence.

Can I protect myself against Prescription Error?

doctor showing pills to patient in clinic - medication claim
The issue of medicaiton and its suitablity for any patient is a much debated subject. Almost every medication that you can name is actually a form of poison, its just the dosage that makes its effects therepautic rather than toxic. In that regard the patient is entirely relient upon medical professionals.

While there is no absolute way to protect you from another person’s errors, there are some things you can take to try to avoid taking the wrong prescription even if the chemist hands over the wrong prescription.

  • Talk to the Pharmacist. The moment you pick up your prescription, go ahead and open the bag at the counter. Do not just pay and walk away. Open it up, look at it, ask any questions If nothing else, verify it’s what’s supposed to be there, and confirm and understand what you’re taking. Remember, its when you are most distracted or when you are careless that these things are at the most dangerous. If you have had the same prescription for years you may have become complacent.
  • Make sure it is your name is on the prescription bag. One of the top pharmacy mistakes is medication going to the wrong customers. Even though your name may appear on the outside of the bag, somebody else’s name could show up on the containers within.
  • Make sure the dosage amount matches your original prescription.
  • Make sure the pills inside of the bottle match your prescription. If you have been taking the medication and the pills look different, confirm with your pharmacist that they are the correct medication.

What Do I do if I think my Pharmacist has made a prescription error

If you think that your pharmacy gave you the incorrect prescription, make sure you do the following:

  1. Call the doctor who prescribed you the medication immediately;
  2. Seek emergency medical attention;
  3. Call the pharmacy to report the error;
  4. If the pharmacy offers you compensation, do not accept it until you consult a lawyer.
  5. Take photographs of the incorrect prescription bottle;
  6. Do not throw away the incorrect prescription bottle

Frequently Asked Questions…

Our Solicitor members have regularly taken just about every enquiry you can possibly imagine with regard to a prescription error or medication claim. We have taken a poll surrounding this subject and the most frequently occurring subjects are listed below. If you want to read more just click on the coloured banner to reveal the answers.

Contact Us on 01904-914-989 or info@law-med.co.uk

How Much Compensation Will I Get

How much compensation you will receive for your claim against a chemist is entirely determined by what sort of injury / how long the injury persisted that you have received and how intense the pain and suffering was;  so for instance a bout of dizzyness that lasted 6 weeks may be valued at an approximate range of £2000.00 to £3000.00 but if you were hosptalised and in receipt of intensive care during that time as the symptoms were so severe the amounts may be 5 or 10 times that. If you have permanent health problems as a result it may be 100 times that amount, again, depending on the seriousness of those symptoms. The only way to know for sure is to investigate the injury however, talk to us today and we can assess the situation in more detail. 

What Sort of Injuries Are Possible from Taking the Wrong Drugs?

The results of a prescription error can range from a simple headache or dizzyness that passes after a few hours to life-changing after effects, it all depends and what has gone wrong, what medications you should have had and which ones you actually took. In many cases the effects are temporary and not serious however, he condition you are receiving treatment for will not improve and there is the possibility that you could suffer a severe and adverse reaction and require emergency intervention.

How Do I Avoid Prescription Error?

Firstly, when you receive your medicine, always check that what you have received matches the name and dosage of that on your prescription. If you have multiple boxes of the same meds, then always check that it is the same medication throughout. If you have new medication and you are not sure what the right time to take them is, always ask the pharmacist to confirm, typically they will do this anyway but if they dont then it is your right to receive that information, dont be embarrassed to ask . It may be difficult to get to see your GP and your long term repeat prescription seems to work so why interrupt, however, you should have regular medication reviews and these should not be skipped.  Finally, if you are taking any other medication, let the pharmacist know and ask whether there are any concerns about the combination. Your doctor should also check at the time they write the prescription however, if you are concerned then ask.

Am I In Danger of Becoming Addicted?

In some cases the dangers of addiction to prescription medication are easily signposted. The medication itself normally indicates if there is a tendency towards dependence and even if not then a simple internet search can typically be undertaken to double check that the medicine is not being inadvertently delivered. In many cases the nature of the medication is well known and therefore a periodic review of the meds should be undertaken to ensure that they have not become part of the problem. 

How Long Will a Claim Take?

The usual answer for this question is that generally a compensation claim for medical negligence take between 18 and 24 months. This is a huge range and frankly a claim could take as little as 8 weeks or last as long as several years. Once your claim has been submitted, the other party has a protocol period of up to four months to investigate from and respond, before negotiations begin over the proportion of liability and the amount of compensation to be paid. Claims that have to go to court, either because the other party refuses to admit responsibility or because you can’t agree on a fair payment, take longer, as do claims involving complicated injuries where the extent of long-term damage is unclear or where multiple expert reports are required. 

Is There A Time Limit for Bringing a Prescription Claim

Again the usual answer to this question is that you generally should begin any claim that involves an injury within three years of the date your injury was linked to a incident of negligence. The reality though is much more complex and there are a number of factors that may mean you could not or would not have known about an injury or were not in a position to do anything about it. The only way to be sure if you have enough time to bring an action is to speak to a Solicitor who specialises in this type of claim. Call us today and we will get a panel member to speak to you completely free. 

Can All Of This Be Done No Win No Fee?

No Win No Fee agreements make it possible for people  to get high quality legal representation without having to apy up front. Sometimes referred to as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA), If you win you pay a success fee, which is an agreed percentage of your total compensation payment. By law, this can not be more than 20%, and it will be openly discussed at the start of your claim so you can make an informed decision about whether to proceed.

No Win No Fee…

Our panel Solicitors all have to agree the same transparent and fair funding agreement. They can never charge you more than 20% of your winnings and cannot pass on insurance charges. If you lose the claim, there is no charges at all. The best lawyers and the best deal.

Nursing Negligence Example

Some examples of nursing negligence would be:

  • Failing to refer a patient who is suffering from an open wound or pressure sore that is not healing.
  • Failing to gaurd against pressure sores, ulcers and weeping wounds.
  • Failing to lift a patient safely leading to fractured bones which can go unnoticed or untreated
  • Keeping a patient on antibiotics for a urinary tract infection when the infection is not responding.
  • Not keeping a patient hydrated or not noticing that a patient is dehydrated or undernourished.
  • Administering the wrong medication or the wrong dose.
  • Not reffering a patient who is not responding to medication
  • Not taking a patients consent or ignoring a patients wishes
Nursing Negligence Consequences

The consequence of negligence for the patient is nearly always injury or harm, for the responsible nurse the consequences vary but could be:

  • The Nurse will likley have to be questioned and a statment taken by the Hospitals legal department.
  • The Nurse will likely have to given an account to thier manager or supervisor
  • They may face and investigation by the NHS Trust or the Hospital.
  • They may have to face an investigation by the Royal College of Nursing and Midwifery.
  • They may have no conseqeunces at all.

Ultimately much depends on the degree of negligence or harm that has been caused.

Nurse Negligence Wrongful Death



In terms of section 6(1)(a) of the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976, the Sheriff found that Mr James McNeil (DOB 14th September 1935) died at 08:30 hours on the 22nd of October 2008 at Belhaven Hospital, Dunbar. The cause of death was (i) bronchopneumonia; (ii) pressure sores on back, ischemic heart disease, and dementia.In 1989, Mr McNeill was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and his condition eventually deteriorated in 2007. On 18th April 2008 Mr McNeill was admitted to Lennel House Nursing Home, Coldstream; Lennel House was a nursing home owned and operated by Guardian Care Homes (UK) Ltd. On admission to Lennel House an Admission Assessment Form was completed by the duty staff nurse. The assessment covered, inter alia, the risk of pressure sores; Mr McNeill was assessed as being at high risk of developing pressure sores.

On 19th May 2008 two blood blisters were noticed on Mr McNeill’s sacral cleft. These were the first manifestations of the early stages of pressure sores. In the course of the following days the blisters were treated with creams and dressings. However, the area of the wound, which was measured and recorded daily, increased. By 30th May 2008 the blisters measured 3 x 1.5cm and 1 x 1cm and were recorded as being necrotic and producing an odour, signs consistent with infection. By 9th June 2008 the measures put in place produced no improvement and the odour from the wound was now described as offensive. On 11th June 2008 the districtnurse visited Lennel House by prior arrangement. The wound now measured 13 x 4.5cm and was discharging thick yellow puss. A hole had appeared in the sacral cleft from which fluid leaked. The districtnurse arranged for Mr McNeill to be examined by a GP which examination was conducted on 12th June 2008. As a result of this examination the GP arranged for Mr McNeill to be admitted to the Borders General Hospital on 12th June 2008 in order to obtain a surgical opinion.

On 13th June 2008 surgical debridement of Mr McNeill’s pressure sore wound was carried out. The operating surgeon considered the wound to be serious and described the operation as a “planned emergency”. In his experience of having carried out 12 or so pressure sore debridements over the years, this was described as the worst which he had encountered.Mr McNeill remained at Borders General Hospital until 24th September 2008 when he was transferred to Roodlands Hospital, Haddington. On 20th October 2008 Mr McNeill was transferred to Belhaven Hospital in Dunbar. At about 06:00 hours on Wednesday 22nd October 2008 nurses attended on Mr McNeill to administer medication, including morphine sulphate, and prepare him for a bed bath. After about 30 minutes, when in course of being bathed, Mr McNeill’s condition deteriorated and he expired in the presence of nursing staff.

The Sheriff noted that from the evidence there could be little doubt that Mr McNeill’s care at Lennel House would have benefitted from better and more promptly implemented care plans and risk assessments; from being cared for by nursing staff who had the advantage of better managerial support; better induction procedures; better training especially in respect of pressure sores and the care of the elderly; better dissemination of information regarding policies and procedures; better access to specialist equipment; and from allocated time for communication as between staff on different shifts.

Focusing on Mr McNeill’s development of pressure sores, the risk of these developing would almost certainly have been reduced with earlier provision of special mattresses, cushions and organised and recorded positional changing. The Sheriff concluded from the evidence that the latest date when Lennel house nursing staff ought to have contacted the district nurse, or general practitioner, regarding Mr McNeill’s pressure sore would have been 4th June 2008. However, the Sheriff noted that in the interim period, key staff had changed at the nursing home and that following the death of Mr McNeill, procedures had been improved radically. For these reasons, the Sheriff considered it inappropriate to make any findings under the Act in terms of section 6(c) and (d).



In terms of section 6(1)(a) of the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976, the sheriff found that Nasrullah Khalid died within cell B/17 at H M Prison, Terregles Street, Dumfries on 23 November 2009 between the hours of 3.15pm and 4.55pm. In terms of section 6(1)(b), the cause of death was (a) Ischaemic Heart Disease (b) Coronary Artery Thrombosis and (c) Coronary Artery atherosclorosis. A formal determination was made under section 6(1)(c).

Mr. Khalid had suffered from a heart condition since 1996 when he had had a heart attack. The symptoms of his condition were stable angina, hypertension and atherosclerosis. For the three years prior to his death the deceased exercised regularly in Dumfries Prison gym. There was no medical reason why Mr. Khalid should not have participated in the exercise regime.

At about 1.50pm on 23rd November 2009 Mr. Khalid attended the prison gym as usual. About five minutes before the end of his routine the deceased experienced nausea and pains in the centre of his chest. He was examined by the duty nurse who concluded that he had suffered an angina attack. He was returned to his cell at 3.15pm and advised to rest and take his angina medication. At about 4.55pm Mr. Khalid was discovered lying on his bed with his eyes open and with vomit on his face. Officers commenced CPR and continued to do so until paramedics arrived about ten to fifteen minutes later. They took over the attempts to resuscitate Mr. Khalid which continued for a further twelve minutes. Throughout the procedure there was no response from Mr. Khalid. He was pronounced dead when the prison doctor arrived at 5.45pm.


Under s.6(1)(c) the sheriff found that, in the examination of Mr. Khalid at the Prison gym, it should have been established if the chest pain of which he had complained had disappeared completely. In the absence of such a finding, the prison doctor should have been contacted and an ambulance called. However, to have done so would not have guaranteed Mr. Khalid’s survival. Nor would that survival have been a probability.

What is a community nurse?

Delivering care to the elderly, disabled and vulnerable patients who are unable to travel to a hospital or doctor’s surgery, community nurses are registered nurses who have undertaken degree level training as a specialist practitioner. This course focuses on four key aspects of nursing including clinical nursing, care and programme management, clinical practice development and clinical practice leadership.

Community nurse roles and responsibilities

A community nurse is responsible for performing many of the same duties as a district nurse. These include basic care (checking temperature, blood pressure and breathing), wound management, administering injections, setting up intravenous drips and assisting doctors with examinations and medical procedures. Community-based nurses are also able to provide vital information to clients, their families and carer/s, much in the same way as district nurses, while emergency support may also be required in cases when a patient is suffering cardiac arrest or a stroke. This demonstrates the many hats a community nurse must don in their line of care.

So what is the difference between community and district nurses?

In recent times, the terms district and community have become interchangeable as a way of describing areas of villages, towns and cities, meaning that there may be no difference between community and district nurses at all.

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About Us

The Law Med Medical Panel is an unincorporated association its members are clinical negligence accredited specialists.

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  • Tel 01904-914-989

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