Delayed Treatment Medical Negligence Claims

Delayed treatment medical negligence can have serious impacts on your health and wellbeing. When we visit a hospital or our GP, we expect to receive a certain standard. This guide looks at how compensation could be claimed if that standard is not met.

As well as examining the duty of care owed by healthcare professionals, we will look at the scale of the delayed treatment issue in the UK and how it’s harming patients. We have also provided examples to illustrate when you could make a claim.

If you’d like to claim compensation for delayed treatment medical negligence, we can help. Our specialist medical negligence team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week to give you the help and support you need. 

You can speak with us now using the number above or our contact us form. Alternatively, open the live chat window below. 

A doctor interpreting an X-ray resulting in delayed treatment

What Is The Definition Of Delayed Treatment?

Delayed treatment is any medical procedure that doesn’t happen within a reasonable time frame. This could be the result of a delayed diagnosis due to misinterpreting a patient’s symptoms or administrative errors leading to mistakes in medical records.

In terms of delayed treatment medical negligence claims, the delay would need to be the result of substandard care and cause you avoidable harm. We’ll examine eligibility in the next section.

Are Delays In Medical Treatment A Problem In The UK?

Delays in medical treatment are a real problem in the UK. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many thousands of medical procedures being postponed as hospitals dealt with the influx of COVID-19 cases. This included those with serious illnesses getting their treatments pushed back. 

The NHS data reported by The Guardian for December 2023 indicated that over a third of cancer patients are facing potentially life-threatening delays to their treatment.

Further research by Medical Negligence Assist shows the issue of delayed treatment is having major impacts across multiple different NHS trusts and hospital departments.

You can learn more about delayed medical treatment, and when you could be eligible to claim compensation for such delays by speaking to your advisors.


Can I Make A Delayed Treatment Medical Negligence Claim?

In order to be eligible to make a delayed treatment medical negligence claim, you will need to show you experienced avoidable harm because a medical professional failed to provide you with the correct standard of care.

All medical professionals in both public and private healthcare have a duty to their patients to provide them with care that meets the correct standard. Failure to do so can result in avoidable harm, harm that you would not have experienced had the correct standard of care been afforded to you.

For example, if you repeatedly visit your GP with symptoms that are consistent with cancer but fail to refer you for proper tests, this could cause a delay in your treatment. 

For a free assessment of your eligibility to claim, call our team today.

How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation For A Delay In Treatment?

The typical medical negligence time limit is 3 years, as per the Limitation Act 1980. However, this can be counted from different dates: 

  • Date of treatment: when you actually received the substandard medical care
  • Date of knowledge: when you would have been reasonably expected to connect the avoidable harm with the actions of the medical professional.

In certain cases, the standard 3-year limit can be extended. Children who experience medical negligence will have the 3 years counted from the day they turn 18. Those who lack sufficient mental capacity will have the limitation period paused altogether.

A litigation friend could be appointed by the court to act on the claimant’s behalf. You can find out more about the relevant time limit in your particular circumstances by talking to our advisors today.

a patient in the ICU awaiting urgent treatment for their medical condition

What Medical Conditions Can I Claim For?

Delayed treatment medical negligence claims can be made for all sorts of conditions, such as:

  • Cancer.
  • Infections such as pneumonia and sepsis.
  • Broken bones.
  • Hernias.

If you received delayed treatment due to a medical professional failing to provide the correct standard of care and this caused you avoidable harm, then you could be eligible to claim compensation. 

What Are The Causes Of Delays In Treatment?

A delay in treatment could occur in several different circumstances. We have highlighted a few possible scenarios here:

  • A failure to correctly interpret your scan results, despite your displaying clear systems, results in a pneumonia misdiagnosis. Your condition worsened significantly before you received the correct diagnosis.
  • Your GP did not refer you for a mammogram, even though you were showing possible cancer symptoms. By the time your cancer was detected, it had spread to other organs, meaning you required substantial surgery and a more aggressive treatment plan.
  • A wrong medication error in the hospital resulted in your receiving another patient’s drugs. Not only did this delay your actual treatment, but you suffered an acute allergic reaction to the medication.

These three examples have been included to aid your understanding that delayed treatment medical negligence claims can be made for a multitude of different conditions. Get your free assessment today by speaking to one of our advisors.

How Much Compensation Could I Get For Delayed Treatment Medical Negligence?

In a successful delayed treatment medical negligence claim, compensation can be awarded under two different heads of loss. The physical and psychological harm caused will be compensated under general damages, while the financial impact can be compensated under special damages.

Calculating the potential value of your claim is something our solicitors can provide support with. When calculating general damages, reference can be made to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Some relevant compensation brackets from this publication have been provided below. 

Compensation Table

We’d like to emphasise that these figures have been provided to act as guidance only. 

Type of HarmSeverityGuideline Compensation ValueNotes
Multiple Instances of Very Severe Harm In Addition To Significant Special DamagesVery SevereUp to £1,000,000+Multiple instances of very severe harm as well serious financial losses such as medical costs, care needs and loss of earnings.
Brain DamageVery Severe (a)£344,150 to £493,000Little or no environment response or language function requiring full time professional care.
Moderate (c)(ii)£110,720 to £183,190A moderate or modest deficit of intellect with significantly reduced ability to undertake work and some epilepsy risk.
BladderLoss of Function (b)£171,680Complete loss of natural bladder function and control.
Leg InjuriesSevere Leg Injuries (b)(ii)£66,920 to £109,290Injuries causing permanent mobility issues, requiring mobility aids for the remainder of the injured person’s life.
Less Serious Leg Injuries (c)(i)£21,920 to £33,880Serious soft tissue damage or incomplete recovery from fractures.
Digestive System Traumatic Injury (a)(i)£52,490 to £75,550Severe damage to the digestive system with continuing discomfort and pain.
Back injuriesModerate (b)(i)£33,880 to £47,320Residual disabilities of lower severity from injuries such as lumbar fractures or a prolapsed disc.
Ankle InjuriesModerate (c)£16,770 to £32,450Damage to ligaments, fractures and similar injuries that result in less serious disabilities.
HerniaContinuing Pain (a)£18,180 to £29,490Continuing pain and/or a limitation on sports, employment or other physical activities post repair.

Special Damages

Special damages is the second of the two heads of loss you could receive compensation under. You could be eligible to claim for lost earnings, or for medical bills and care costs. This will require you to provide some supporting evidence, so keep a hold of your payslips and other bills.

How Medical Negligence Assist’s Solicitors Can Help You

At Medical Negligence Assist, our solicitors have significant experience in handling medical negligence claims. Talk to our advisors today for your free assessment. If eligible, you could be offered a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

This No Win No Fee contract gives claimants some desirable protections including:

  • Not paying upfront for the solicitor to begin work on the claim
  • Not paying for this work during the claim
  • No fee to pay if the claim fails.

Medical Negligence compensation will be paid out should your claim succeed. The solicitor will take a success fee from this, but since The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 caps this fee, meaning most of the payout will be yours. 

To find out more about delayed treatment medical negligence claims or get your potential case assessed you can contact our advisors using the phone number or contact button above. You can also use our live chat window to quickly reach a member of the team.

a solicitor talking to his client about their delayed treatment medical negligence claim

Further Guidance on Medical Negligence Claims

You can read some of our other medical negligence claims guides here:

We have also included some external resources for additional information:

Thank you for taking the time to read this short guide to delayed treatment medical negligence claims. Talk to one of our team members today for a free assessment of your eligibility to claim or to ask any questions.