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How Do I Make A Successful Claim Against The NHS For Negligence

NHS Negligence Claims Guide

NHS Negligence Claims Guide

In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) is a beloved institution and the place most of us will turn to if we are injured, unwell, or need treatment for a lifelong or long-term medical condition. NHS doctors, nurses, paramedics and other medical practitioners work tirelessly, often under immense strain, to serve the public. The NHS is a nationwide institution. Whilst most NHS practitioners do a great job, in an organisation that is so big, accidents and errors will happen from time to time. If medical negligence occurs, harming a patient, the patient has the right to claim against the NHS for compensation.

If you have been injured, made ill or had your pre-existing medical condition worsened because a professional breached their duty of care, you might be eligible to claim compensation. To make a successful claim against the NHS, you will need a medical negligence solicitor to advise you and represent you in your claim. That’s where Medical Negligence Assist can help. 

If you have legitimate grounds to make a compensation claim, we can connect you to a specialist medical negligence lawyer to handle your claim for NHS negligence. How do you sue the NHS? Begin by calling Medical Negligence Assist on 0800 652 3087, or use our online claims form to contact us.

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A Guide To Making A Successful Claim Against The NHS?

The National Health Service (NHS) is the state healthcare service of the United Kingdom. It was founded after World War 2 based on the principle that comprehensive healthcare, which is free at the point of delivery, should be universal. The NHS is made up of four parts; National Health Service in England, NHS Scotland, NHS Wales, and Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. The NHS provides GP surgeries, hospitals, ambulance services and specialist services such as dentistry, opticians and audiology. 

In recent years, there has been controversy surrounding the NHS, as many believe that government austerity measures such as cuts to NHS funding have put the institution and its staff under immense strain. For example, according to the trade union, Unite, public satisfaction with the NHS has decreased from 70% in 2010 to 53% in 2018. However, public pride in the NHS remains strong, with polls showing that NHS medical practitioners rank highest in lists of most trusted professionals. Similarly, the NHS topped a poll of institutions that the British public feel most proud of, beating the Armed Forces, the BBC and the Royal Family.

Source URL: https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/health-and-social-care-explained/the-history-of-the-nhs/

In the sections that follow, we will define what medical negligence is and will explain how making a claim against the NHS works. We will look at the circumstances in which a patient could be eligible to make an NHS medical negligence claim and will explain how to make a claim against a GP, claim against a hospital, or claim against an NHS dentist. We have also included a medical negligence claims calculator, which is similar to a personal injury claims calculator, to help you gauge the potential value of your claim, and will explain the benefits of making a No Win, No Fee compensation claim.

Can you get compensation from the NHS? If you believe you have been harmed by NHS medical malpractice, you may be eligible to claim compensation. To determine whether or not you have valid grounds to bring an NHS medical negligence claim and find a solicitor to handle your case, call Medical Negligence Assist today. If you do have cause to claim, we can put you in touch with a medical negligence solicitor who will commence work on your case right away.

What Is A Compensation Claim Against The NHS?

Medical negligence is when a medical practitioner such as a doctor, nurse or dentist provides a patient with substandard care. As a result, the patient is made ill, injured or has their pre-existing medical condition worsened. Medical negligence can involve several negligent actions or omissions. Examples include a doctor misdiagnosing a patient’s condition and prescribing the wrong treatment, a surgeon making a medical mistake and operating on the wrong part of the body, or a nurse accidentally injecting a patient with a needle that has already been used on another. Medical negligence is also known as medical malpractice or clinical negligence.

Medical practitioners owe their patients a duty of care. This means that by law they ought to follow best practices and regulations to provide their patients with adequate care. If a patient is made ill, suffers an injury or experiences a worsening of their pre-existing medical condition because of medical negligence on the part of a medical practitioner, the institution where the practitioner works, a GP surgery, for instance, could be held liable for any injuries or illnesses suffered by the patient. As a result, the patient may be able to claim against the NHS for their injuries. Instead of suing a GP surgery, dental clinic or hospital directly, the patient would make a claim against the NHS trust that the organisation is run by. To do so, they will need a medical negligence solicitor to advise them and represent their claim.

When Could You Claim Compensation From The NHS?

Our clients often ask us, “Do I have a claim against the NHS?” To see if you can get compensation from the NHS for negligence, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. You must be able to prove that you were owed a duty of care by the medical organisation (such as a hospital) where you were treated. I.e. that you were a patient of an NHS GP, hospital, dentist, optician or any other NHS service, where you experienced medical negligence.
  2. You must be able to prove that a medical practitioner performed a negligent action or inaction, leading to a breach of duty.
  3. That this breach of duty caused you, the patient, harm. This can include an illness, injury or the worsening of a pre-existing medical condition. In some cases, an injury may occur that was inevitable but may not have been as severe, had the medical negligence not taken place.

Your medical negligence lawyer will be able to collect evidence of the above to support your claim.

Medical negligence is defined as substandard care, or not meeting adequate standards of the medical practitioner’s profession. The NHS website describes breaches of duty of care by NHS medical practitioners using the Bolam Principle. The Bolam Principle judges the medical practitioner by asking whether or not their actions “would be supported by a responsible body of clinical opinion.”

In the very sad circumstances that your next of kin relative died because of NHS negligence, you could be able to claim compensation from the NHS on their behalf.

Was I Owed A Duty Of Care By The NHS?

If you were a patient of an NHS organisation, you were owed a duty of care. With that duty of care, certain rights are bestowed upon NHS patients. The rights of NHS patients include the right to a GP, the right to hospital treatment where necessary, and the right to give consent for any examinations or medical treatment your doctors believe you are in need of. These are just a few examples of NHS patient rights. Many of the rights of NHS patients are codified in the NHS constitution.

We will now look at making a claim against the NHS in more detail. This will include claims against a hospital, claims against a GP, or claims against an NHS dentist.

Showing That A Doctor, Dentist Or Hospital Was At Fault

To make a successful claim against the NHS, you must be able to prove that you were harmed by the negligent actions or inactions of a medical practitioner such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, or physiotherapist that was treating you. Therefore you must be able to prove that the illness, injury or worsening of a pre-existing medical condition would not have happened, or would have had a less severe effect on you, had the doctor or other medical practitioner caring for you acted differently. In some instances, the error may not be directly the fault of your medical practitioner. For example, administrative errors such as a doctor being given the wrong notes or x-ray for a patient can lead them to make mistakes. When you make a compensation claim against the NHS, our medical negligence solicitors will be able to conduct an investigation to find supporting evidence that the doctor, dentist or hospital was at fault.

How To Claim Against A CCG Or Trust Successfully

NHS hospitals, GP surgeries and other services are all run by an NHS Trust. If you make a claim against the NHS for misdiagnosis or another form of medical negligence, your compensation claim will be against your local NHS Trust. If you live in England, the NHS Trust that you are suing will be represented by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), now known as NHS Resolution. In some instances, you may make a claim against a Clinical Commissioning Group or CCG. Clinical Commissioning Groups are responsible for planning and commissioning healthcare services that are available to communities in their local jurisdiction.

Our clients often ask us, “How do I claim against an NHS Trust or Clinical Commissioning Group?” If you are seriously considering suing the NHS for negligence, you will need an excellent personal injury solicitor to handle your claim. They will be able to determine how much your claim is worth and will push to make sure you win the maximum amount of compensation you could be eligible to claim. To find an excellent personal injury lawyer to handle your claim, call Medical Negligence Assist for your free claims against the NHS consultation, today.

How To Claim Against An NHS Hospital Successfully?

People go to hospital Accidents & Emergency departments to receive urgent medical treatment. They also go to specialist departments in hospitals to receive inpatient or outpatient care, which is too specialised for a GP or pharmacist to carry out. If you have been injured, made ill or had your pre-existing medical condition made worse by negligence in an NHS hospital, can you get compensation from the NHS? Yes, and to do so, you will need to make a claim against your local NHS Trust.

Examples of claims against an NHS hospital for negligence can include the following:

  • Misdiagnosis of a patient’s condition. In the event of serious time-bound illnesses such as cancer, the condition can worsen and spread if treatment is delayed due to misdiagnosis.
  • Negligence in surgery. This can include wrong-site surgery where the wrong part of the body is operated on, the surgeon damaging a patient’s tissues during surgery, or a foreign body being left inside the patient.
  • A fracture being missed in A&E. This could be due to the fracture not initially showing up on an x-ray, or a doctor mistaking the symptoms of a fracture for a severe soft tissue injury instead.
  • A nurse giving a patient staying in the hospital the wrong type or dosage of medicine. This may be because they were given the wrong notes for a patient, or human error.

If you are wondering “How do I sue the NHS for hospital negligence?”, we can help. Call Medical Negligence Assist today to speak to an advisor about suing the NHS for negligence in a hospital. If you have legitimate grounds to claim, we can put you in contact with a specialist solicitor to handle your case.

How To Claim Against A GP Successfully?

When we are suffering from a minor injury or illness, we often rely on our GP to diagnose our condition and prescribe the medication we need. Similarly, GPs play an important role in recognising the signs of a more serious illness, injury or medical condition and referring the patient to a specialist department at a hospital for diagnosis and treatment.

Examples of GP medical negligence include:

  • Prescribing a patient the wrong type of medication, or the wrong dosage of medication.
  • Misdiagnosing a patient’s condition, causing a delay in treatment or the patient to be given the wrong treatment.
  • Not monitoring a patient’s ongoing medical condition correctly.
  • Not reviewing the patient’s medication when it is having an undesired effect.

To make a successful claim against the NHS for GP negligence, call Medical Negligence Assist today. If you have legitimate grounds to claim, we will connect you with a medical negligence solicitor to handle your claim.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Successful Claim Against The NHS?

In the United Kingdom, there is a medical negligence claims time limit of three years, similar to the personal injury claims time limit. This means that you will have three years from the day you experienced medical negligence or the day that you realised that you had been harmed as a result, in which to begin your claim. To make sure you do not fall outside of the medical negligence claims time limit, call us today to begin work on your case.

What Can I Claim Against The NHS? – Compensation Calculator

If you make a successful claim against the NHS for negligence, your compensation package could be awarded to you in two parts: general damages and special damages. The purpose of general damages is to ensure you’re compensated for any pain and suffering as well as any loss of amenity that you have experienced because of the injuries. You could also be awarded special damages for any expenses you have experienced, or may experience in the future, as a result of your injuries. Special damages our clients frequently claim for include medical expenses, mobility equipment expenses, care expenses, home and car adaptation expenses, loss of income and travel expenses.

Clients often ask us, “What is the average payout for NHS negligence?” You can use our medical negligence claims calculator below, similar to a personal injury claims calculator, to estimate how much you could claim in general damages. The table is based on the Judicial College Guidelines, which details average amounts of compensation that claimants are awarded for medical negligence claims. The table excludes any special damages you could claim.

Type of injury and severityNotesSettlement including 10% uplift
Brain damage - moderateThis level of injury also includes several sub categories of brain or head injury. Such injuries may result in personality changes as well s affect speach or even sight.£40,410 to £205,580
Brain damage - less severeThe victim may not make a complete recovery, but they will be able to return to their usual social and work life. Remaining symptoms may include issues with concentration and memory. £14,380 - £40,410
Hearing loss / tinnitus - partialThe victim may have been harmed by and suffered moderate levels of hearing loss or tinnitus. They may also have both of these conditions.£13,970 - £27,890
Chest injury - (D)At this level, there may be more simple injuries affecting the internal chest area, such as a penetrating wound in the chest.£11,820 - £16,860
Digestive system - traumatic injurySevere digestive system injuries could include traumatic injuries affecting the digestive system. The claimant coud be left with pain and discomfort.£40,370 - £58,100
Neck injury - minorStrains or sprains of the neck muscle with a full recovery in 3 months. Up to £2,300
Back injury - moderate (i)The person claiming may have sustained an injury similar to a crush fracture. They may have required a spinal fusion and may have suffered injuries associated with this.£26,050 - £36,390
Shoulder injury - seriousA serious shoulder injury could present as either a serious level of dislocation or similar level of injury. This may present with similar types of injury.£11,980 - £18,020
Forearm - simple fractureThis level includes simpler types of fractures to the forearm.£6,190 - £18,020

No Win No Fee Claims Against The NHS

If you have grounds to make a claim against the NHS for negligence, we can give you the option to have a No Win, No Fee solicitor work on your claim.

What are the benefits of making a No Win, No Fee claim?

  • You won’t have to pay an upfront fee to make your claim. This means that making a No Win, No Fee claim is the more affordable option for many of our clients.
  • You will pay your solicitors fee if and when you win your NHS negligence claim. Your fee will be deducted from your compensation package.
  • In the unlikely event that you do not win your claim, you won’t have to pay your fee. This means that it is the solicitor that takes on the financial risk, not you.

To make a No Win, No Fee medical negligence claim, call Medical Negligence Assist for your free consultation. If you have legitimate grounds to claim, we can connect you to a No Win, No Fee lawyer to handle your claim.

Talk To Our Team

If you believe you are owed compensation for NHS negligence and are wondering “How do I sue the NHS?” call Medical Negligence Assist for your free medical negligence claims consultation. We will speak to you in-depth about your ordeal and if we can see that you have legitimate grounds to claim compensation, we will put you in touch with an excellent solicitor to handle your claim. Alternatively, use our online claims form to reach us or call on 0800 652 3087.

Helpful Resources

NHS Hospital Negligence Compensation – Making a claim against an NHS hospital.

Misdiagnosis Negligence Compensation Claims – Explaining medical misdiagnosis claims.

How Much Could My Medical Negligence Claim Be Worth? – Estimating how much different medical negligence claims may be worth.

External Links

NHS Advice For Compensation Claimants – NHS advice for those making a compensation claim.

The Citizens Advice Bureau’s Guide To NHS Patients Rights – Additional useful advice provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Guide by Hana

Edited by Ed