Hospitals are liable for the acts and omissions of their employees (as are all employers). Typically, employees of hospitals include staff doctors, nursing staff, and a range of allied care providers which might include pathologists, radiographers, physiotherapists and the like.
Claims can arise in a wide range of circumstances where there has been errors by treating doctors, surgeons and other specialists, nursing staff and allied care providers in relation to emergency department care, any medical and surgical treatment, and post-discharge outpatient care.
Failures in emergency department treatment may include:
- Failure to recognise and treat emergency acute medical problems such as appendicitis
- Discharging patients with mental health illnesses when they presented a danger to themselves or the community
- Discharging patients from hospital too early and without adequate review
- Failing to intubate patients with clear breathing difficulties
- Delaying treatment to patients with emergency care needs