Clinical negligence: What you need to know

Healthcare professionals are there to help you get better. The care they give is usually very good. But sometimes things can go wrong.

Clinical negligence is when someone suffers harm because of the treatment they have been given – or not given – by a healthcare professional. It can also be called medical negligence.

Clinical negligence can result in physical harm or mental harm.

It can happen in the NHS or in a private healthcare setting. Healthcare professionals include

Your guide to defamation

Has someone said or written something false about you? Is what they said harming your reputation?

If so, you could be a victim of defamation.

There are two types of defamation: Libel and slander.

Libel is when the false statement is written – like in a newspaper or in a social media post.

Slander is when the false statement is spoken.

You do not need to be specifically named in the false statement to be a victim of defamation. But the statement must allow you to be identified.

Defamation cases are on the increase.

The lowdown on going to court

If you are accused of breaking the law and are ordered to go to court, you will get a Duty Solicitor—a lawyer who is supplied to you for free. This is legal aid.

They will talk to you before your court case and will go to court with you to put your side of the story across. It's very important for you to tell them everything and be honest with them, so they can help you.

If you are under 16, you must have a parent or guardian with you in court. If they aren't there, it will hold up the process.

See you in court?

The number of court cases in England and Wales is high—and rising.

Our family courts alone dealt with almost 60,000 cases in the second quarter of 2015, up 4 per cent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Justice. That's almost 1,000 cases per working day.