Find Out Can I Sue The NHS Without A Lawyer

The National Health Service (NHS) is an institution within the UK that many of us use and depend on. The service provided by the NHS is of a very high standard, and it helps over a million people every day. Unfortunately, mistakes may occasionally happen. In this guide, we answer frequently asked questions about medical negligence claims, such as “Can I sue the NHS without a lawyer?”, if medical negligence were to happen. 

We explain in detail what a specialist medical negligence solicitor could do for you and how it may be difficult to claim compensation without one. We also discuss how No Win No Fee agreements work should you potentially choose to be represented on this basis. 

The second part of this guide focuses on when someone might be potentially eligible to make a medical negligence compensation claim against the NHS.

You can chat with our team using your preferred contact method for free. They can advise you on your next steps. 

A pen in a medical negligence solicitor's hand about to sign a legal document on an oak table.

Jump To A Section

  1. Can I Sue The NHS Without A Lawyer?
  2. What Are The Benefits Of Using A Lawyer To Sue The NHS?
  3. Can I Use A No Win No Fee Solicitor To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?
  4. On What Grounds Can I Sue The NHS?
  5. How Can Medical Negligence Assist Help You?
  6. Learn More About Medical Negligence Claims

Can I Sue The NHS Without A Lawyer?

It is not a legal requirement to instruct a lawyer to handle medical negligence claims. 

However, the clinical negligence claims process can be long and tricky as it combines an area of medicine and law. It is highly advised to instruct a lawyer if you have an eligible medical negligence claim since they will have the legal knowledge and expertise that your case may need.

Here are the reasons why you might find the claims process complicated without a lawyer:

  • You may not know all the evidence needed to prove your case.
  • You may find it difficult to find and instruct an independent medical expert. 
  • You may need to fund the claim yourself, the expert opinion, the costs of any evidence, and other legal costs. Working with a solicitor that offers No Win No Fee terms can help with this. 
  • You would need to navigate the Pre-Action Protocol.
  • If the case were to go to court, you might find it difficult navigating the court proceedings.  

What Is The Pre-Action Protocol In Medical Negligence Claims?

As you may have anticipated, and despite what many claimants think, you cannot just turn up to a court to fight your case in front of a judge. There are steps that both parties are required to take to try to settle the dispute before issuing court proceedings. These steps are known as the Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes. This is to try and settle the claim before it needs to be heard in court. 

Here are the steps of the Pre-Action Protocol that need to be taken to try and resolve the claim before beginning court proceedings:

  • Obtain health records and copies of clinical reports.
  • Rehabilitation as soon as possible. This is where all parties consider whether the claimant needs rehabilitation treatment.
  • Letter of notification. This is to let the defendant know that a letter of claim will likely be sent and a medical negligence claim will likely be made against them.
  • Letter of claim. This provides an overview of the details of the claim, such as what harm the claimant has suffered.
  • Letter of response. Within 4 months of receiving the letter of claim, the defendant should give a reasoned answer in a letter of response, including whether they admit the claim or not.
  • Experts. An independent medical expert’s opinion may be needed.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution. If both parties cannot agree, Alternative Dispute Resolution should be used as a last resort before legal proceedings need to commence. In this case, both parties should consider some sort of negotiation.

If you instruct one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors to help you potentially sue the NHS, they will be able to complete these actions on your behalf. 

What If My Claim Goes To Court?

If your clinical negligence claim cannot be settled in the pre-litigation stages, then your claim might need to go to Court. This would involve instructing a barrister. 

If you are suing the NHS without a lawyer, then instructing a barrister would be your responsibility through the barrister chamber. This would usually cost you upfront.

To find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

A stethoscope on top of a medical record on a grey table.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Lawyer To Sue The NHS?

As well as completing the Pre-Action Protocols, here is what else our specialist medical negligence solicitors can do to potentially help you throughout the compensation claims process. 

  • Ensure your compensation claim is accurately valued. 
  • Explain complex legal terminology. 
  • Send correspondence and legal documents on your behalf. 
  • Ensure that your case is presented in full and within the limitation period.
  • Provide you with updates. 
  • Help you gather proof of medical negligence.  

All of this work is included in their services, meaning you can focus more on recovering.

Get in touch with us today to find out whether you can receive the help and services of our No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitors.

Can I Use A No Win No Fee Solicitor To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?

Yes, you could have a No Win No Fee solicitor work on your potential medical negligence claim. All our specialist medical negligence solicitors represent their clients on this basis. Specifically, under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). 

Under a CFA, you will not pay for your solicitor’s work during these times:

  • Before the case has begun. 
  • During the case. 
  • If your claim is not successful. 

If your hospital negligence claim is successful, instead of paying for your solicitor’s work directly from your pocket, they can take a success fee. Success fees are a small percentage of your compensation. In addition, the maximum success fee that solicitors can take is capped by the law.

A torso shot of four medical professionals in their uniform crossing their arms.

On What Grounds Can I Sue The NHS?

Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional deviates from professional standards, failing to provide a service of skill and care that a competent doctor would. Healthcare providers, along with medical professionals such as doctors and nurses, owe patients in their care a duty of care; it is only when proven that this duty has been breached and the patient has suffered harm that was avoidable that pursuing medical negligence compensation is valid. 

All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care to provide the correct standard of care. If the standard of care that they provide ever falls substandard to their minimum requirement, then this is a breach of duty. 

An example of a breach of duty of care is if a doctor fails to recognise the serious symptoms that a patient is suffering from when a doctor of similar competence would have. 

As such, a breach of duty of care may sometimes lead to a patient sustaining avoidable harm, and this is when they’d be eligible to make a compensation claim. To put it simply, these criteria must all be shown:

  1. A healthcare provider owed a duty of care.
  2. This duty was breached. 
  3. You sustained avoidable harm directly because of the breach. 

If you believe you have an eligible medical negligence claim against the NHS, please contact us to speak with our advisors for free. 

How Can Medical Negligence Assist Help You?

You can have a chat with our friendly advisors at any time for free. They can give you a free assessment of your case and tell you whether you have an eligible medical negligence claim. From there, they might connect you with our specialist solicitors who work on a No Win No Fee basis.

Contact Us

You can contact us at any time since our lines are open 24/7:

The letters 'NHS' on three separate wooden circular blocks in the middle of a stethoscope with a plain blue background.

Learn More About Medical Negligence Claims 

Here are some of our similar guides:

Below are some links for other websites which you might find useful:

Hopefully, you have found the answer to the question, “Can I sue the NHS without a lawyer?” If you need any further advice, please do not hesitate to call our team at any time.