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Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.
I am not sure if the paving stone was defective and caused your fall, or if it was not defective and this was simply an accident. As a British Citizen you should not have to pay for NHS services, so I am not sure why they are chasing you. They charge for patient treatment (ambulance, in-stay, surgery, out-patient treatment, etc) for people who reside outside of the UK. You developed complications which led to a lengthy in-patient stay which is why the bill is high but you need to ask them why you are liable to pay, considering you are a British citizen. You should consider a claim against the council for the protruding paving stone - the if the council accepts the claim and admit liability they should repay the NHS for their charges but you will need a law firm, on a no win no fee agreement to pursue the council. You cannot do the claim yourself - as they are complex and if you lose, very expensive.
With a no win no fee agreement you are fully protected from costs if you lose and you pay nothing up front. If the council admits liability the lawyer can also ask the council for an interim payment to cover any immediate financial losses. Here are a few firms you should consider contacting : 1. http://www.irwinmitchell.com2. http://www.slatergordon.co.uk3. http://www.cfglaw.co.uk4. http://www.simpsonmillar.co.uk
I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.
Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.
The NHS Constitution says "you have the right to receive care & treatment that is appropriate to you, meets your needs & reflects your preferences",
and importantly:"you have the right to drugs & treatments that have been recommended by NICE for use in the NHS, if your doctor says they are clinically appropriate for you".
Patients have options if denied treatments or medicines.
You should therefore make a formal complaint to the NHS for this. If dissatisfied with the outcome of the NHS complaint, you can then appeal to the Parliamentary Health & Social Care Ombudsman here: https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/making-complaint
Patients also have the right to compensation where they have been harmed by negligent treatment.
Patients can also exert pressure by referring the matter to their local Healthwatch - who are patient’s consumer champions - yours can be found here: https://www.healthwatch.co.uk ) / to the local press / to your local MP.
They should take no action against you for payment for the duration of the complaint - 8 weeks for the complaint to the NHS, then another 16 weeks for the Ombudsman to make a decision. In the meantime consider instructing a law firm for the personal injury claim like I mentioned earlier. The paving stone was broken and caused your injury - you do need to make a claim in my view.
My pleasure, thanks