How To Report Medical Negligence By A GP, Doctor, Dentist Or Hospital

By Marlon Rudy. Last Updated 17th February 2023. In this online guide, we will look at how to report medical negligence as a precursor to moving on to make a medical negligence claim. Although clinical negligence claims share many similarities with personal injury claims, they are different in some ways. So, we recommend you read this guide

How to report medical negligence guide

How to report medical negligence guide

fully, even if you are familiar with the process of making an accident or injury claim.

You might have unique questions related to your own potential claim that this guide does not address. If this is indeed the case, help is just a phone call away. Speak to one of our team of expert advisors on 0800 652 3087. They will answer any question you have, evaluate your claim for you, and let you know if it is potentially valid or not.

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A Guide On How To Report Medical Negligence

The sections of this online guide combine to give some expert advice on how to report medical malpractice, and also how to move on to making a claim for the harm you have suffered at the hands of a medical professional. Although this guide leans heavily towards NHS negligence claims, much of it would still be applicable to claims against a private healthcare facility.

We begin this guide with a basic introduction to what medical negligence is, and why you could be in a position to make a compensation claim if you become a victim of it. We will also briefly cover the kinds of claimants that this guide will be useful for. We then move on to look at some of the different forms that medical negligence can take, and where. We also describe the procedure for reporting clinical negligence to the NHS.

The bottom half of this guide moves away from giving information related to instances of clinical negligence and covers some general information related to the claims process. We start by explaining what the most common time limits are that could apply to your claim. We have also added a table that can be used to look up the severity of your medical condition, and find out how much you could potentially receive in compensation if your claim is a success. In the same section, we summarise some of the frequently awarded kinds of damage you could receive compensation for. Lastly, we explain how a medical negligence lawyer working under a No Win No Fee deal could provide you with a way to get the compensation you are eligible for, with minimal financial risks attached.

If you have any questions at all about this guide, the claims process, or your own unique circumstances, then please reach out to our team on the telephone number near the top and bottom of the page. An expert advisor will be able to provide you with all the assistance you may need.

What Is Medical Negligence By A GP, Doctor, Dentist Or Hospital?

Every medical professional in England is required to fulfil a duty of care to patients at all times. This includes medical professional such as:

  • Your GP.
  • A surgeon.
  • A nurse working at your local clinic.
  • Your pharmacist.
  • Your dentist.

And the list could go on. These are all practising, registered medical professionals that could be found guilty of clinical negligence due to their actions when dealing with a patient.

Put simply, no medical professional should ever do anything that will cause a patient unnecessary harm. If they do, then the patient could report medical malpractice and then attempt to make a compensation claim for the harm they suffered. This is something we could potentially help you with. Speak to our team to find out how.

Who Does The Information In This Guide Apply To?

This guide almost entirely applies to patients of the National Health Service (NHS) who have fallen foul of clinical negligence whilst receiving care. However, the situation is a little complex, so an explanation is in order.

  • You would be able to make a complaint to the NHS if:
    • You are being treated by an NHS doctor (GP for example) in a state-run healthcare institute.
    • You are being treated in a private hospital, but it is the NHS that is paying for your treatment.
  • You would not be able to complain to the NHS if:
    • You are a private patient in an NHS hospital unless NHS staff are being used to provide you with treatment or care.
    • Are a private patient being treated at a private healthcare facility and you are paying the medical fees.

If you are unsure whether this guide would apply to your own circumstances, please call our team and an advisor will let you know.

Patient Negligence – What It Could Look Like

Negligence In a hospital could occur in many ways. A patient could be unnecessarily harmed because a medical professional:

  • Failed to recognise clearly presented symptoms of an illness
  • Failed to perform a procedure correctly
  • Administered the wrong treatment in error
  • Failed to schedule a necessary follow-up appointment
  • Failed to ensure the cleanliness of a vital setting, such as an operating room

Our advisers offer free claim evaluations. If you think you have been harmed by the negligence of a doctor, or other form of medical professional, our advisers could be able to provide you with a free assessment of your eligibility to start a claim.

They can also provide you with more information and examples of what may constitute as valid grounds for a patient negligence claim.

Where Medical Negligence Could Happen

Can I report my doctor for negligence? Yes, you can, regardless of where the negligence took place. If a doctor is dealing with you in a professional capacity, where the clinical negligence took place doesn’t matter. The same applies to all medical professionals. However, some of the most common places that clinical negligence can take place, are:

  • A state-funded and operated hospital.
  • Your local GP surgery.
  • At the dental clinic.
  • When visiting a specialist or consultant.
  • In your local pharmacy.
  • In an operating room.
  • On a hospital ward.

All of these are places where a patient can be injured or come to harm in some way due to the actions of a medical profession. Give our team a call and tell us where the clinical negligence that harmed you took place, and they will tell you whether a claim could be possible or not.

Reporting A Doctor For Negligence – What Will Happen?

When reporting medical negligence, the first step should be making a direct complaint to the medical institution where the negligence occurred. This could be a hospital or general practice surgery. You do not need to make a direct complaint to be able to make a claim, however it could give you more information about what happened and any correspondence you have with them could be used as evidence to support your potential claim. A direct complaint could be made in the form of a letter asking for an explanation about the care you received.

Additionally, when reporting a doctor for negligence, you could make a complaint to the General Medical Council (GMC). The GMC can investigate your complaint to see if a doctor is putting their patients at risk. If their investigation finds that the health professional is posing a risk to their patients, they may be restricted from treating any patients until they have received further training. Or, if the GMC have serious concerns about a medical professional, it may result in them having their license withdrawn. You do not need to make a complaint to the GMC to make a claim, however their investigation could support your case.

Contact our advisors today if you have any question about making a claim for doctor negligence.

Complaining To An NHS Trust

An NHS Trust is responsible for all of the hospital services operated within their catchment area. Therefore, if you want to raise a concern about a doctor or raise a concern about a hospital, the NHS Trust would be a good starting point.

If you want some help and advice on how to go about making such an official complaint, our team is available to help. Just give them a call to get this started.

Complaining About A GP

Your GP acts as the gatekeeper to the rest of the healthcare service. They are responsible for performing an initial diagnosis, treating minor ailments, and referring victims of more serious conditions to the correct healthcare unit for treatment. When a GP makes a mistake, the consequences can be dire, even life-threatening. Therefore, when a GP does make a mistake, you will need to report GP negligence before making a claim for the harm you have suffered. Speak to our team to learn more about this.

Complaining About A Clinical Commissioning Group

A Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is a local body responsible for buying in NHS services. The NHS is funded along the lines of individual hospitals pricing their services to the commissioning group, and selling them internally, rather than being given annual budgets.

If you are not happy about the treatment you received in an NHS hospital, or when receiving NHS medical care, you can make a formal complaint to the CCG that covers your area. If you need to make a complaint about the CCG itself, you will need to contact the NHS Headquarters for the UK.

We can help you to make a complaint against a CCG by giving you assistance and advice on how to formulate your complaint. Speak to our claims team to move forward with this.

Complaining About Other Practitioners

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) maintains a comprehensive database of healthcare practitioners and institutions. If you need to report a doctor for negligence, or any other individual medical professional, this is a good place to start. The CQC has also provided contact details for other top-level healthcare organisations that an individual medical professional may work for.

It may be confusing trying to work out exactly which healthcare unit the medical professional works for. We can help to remove some of the confusion if you call our team and explain your problem to one of our expert advisors.

Time Limits To Report And Claim For Medical Negligence

Just as there is a personal injury claims time limit for you to begin an accident or injury claim within, you will need to be within the clinical negligence claims time limit in order for a medical negligence solicitor to be able to help you. In general, this time limit will be:

  • If you are over the age of 18 – three years from the date the clinical negligence took place, or from the date that a medical condition caused by it was first diagnosed.
  • If you are under the age of 18 – three years from the date of your 18th birthday.

In some very rare cases, these time limits can vary. If you call our team and speak to one of our advisors, they will be able to tell you exactly what time limit is going to apply in your own case.

What Could I Claim After Reporting Medical Negligence? – Compensation Calculator

If you have made an accident or injury claim in the past, you might have used some kind of personal injury claims calculator to get a rough estimate of the value of your claim should you win it. This table of example compensation ranges below can serve a similar purpose for clinical negligence claims. It is based on the published Judicial College Guidelines in the UK. It is provided as an example only.

Type of HarmSeverityNotesCompensation
Injuries Affecting SightLoss of Sight in One Eye with Reduced Vision in the Remaining Eye (i)The remaing eye suffers a risk of further deterioration, going beyond sympathetic opthalmia£95,990 to £179,770
Female Reproductive System(a)An injury or disease causes infertility. Also includes cases where an ectopic pregnancy was failed to be diagnosed.£114,900 to £170,280
Deafness/TinnitusTotal Deafness and Loss of SpeechA rubella infection may have caused deafness at an early age. This also would impact the development of speech.£109,650 to £140,660
EpilepsyEstablished Petit MalFactors such as effect on social/working life, the prognosis and whether attacks can be controlled by medication will be taken into account when awarding compensation.£54,830 to £131,370
Lung Disease(b)Lung cancer in an older person that affects the person's quality of life, impairs the lungs function and causes serious pain.£70,030 to £97,330
Bladder(c)Serious impairment of the bladder's control that causes incontinence and pain.£63,980 to £79,930
Bowels(c)Passive incontinence and faecal urgency persisting after surgery which causes the person to be embarrassed and distressed. This usually follows from a injury giving birth.In the region of £79,920
Male Reproductive System(d)An uncomplicated case of sterility in a young person with no children that causes no aggravating features.£56,080 to £71,350
Kidney(b)There is a considerable risk of the kidney losing its natural function or of a future urinary tract infection.Up to £63,980
Digestive System(b)(i)For a few days or weeks the person will need to be admitted into hospital due to severe toxicosis which causes vomiting, diarrhoea and a fever.£38,430 to £52,500

If you want a more accurate estimate of the level of compensation you might win, because there are some unique circumstances behind your claim, then call our team today. They will be able to arrange for a medical negligence lawyer to value your claim for you.

If your claim comes out positively, then you will receive a compensation settlement, either offered out of court or awarded in court, that will comprise a number of different types of damages. General damages cover all of the pain and suffering that can occur due to clinical negligence. The total compensation won will directly reflect the level of pain and suffering you went through from the initial incident, through any treatment you need, until your eventual recovery and possible long-term impairment. For example:

  • The pain and suffering caused by the illness or medical condition.
  • Any intrusive or traumatic treatment, such as surgery that you had to go through.
  • Psychological harm such as anxiety or depression.
  • Stress and trauma caused by being a victim of medical negligence.

Special damages cover all of the non-physical and financial losses you might have faced due to being harmed by medical negligence. If you are going to try and claim back costs already paid out, then you will need to provide documented proof of these costs. Special damages could include, but are not limited to:

  • Lost earning/working potential in the future.
  • Lost wages or salary due to missing work while you were ill.
  • Private medical fees.
  • Out of pocket expenses.
  • The cost of hiring in-home nursing staff.

If you would like a more accurate list of the kind of expenses you might be able to claim for based on your unique circumstances, our team can arrange for a lawyer to evaluate your claim for you; just give them a ring to get this underway.

No Win No Fee Claims For Medical Negligence

Making a clinical negligence claim by using the services of a No Win No Fee lawyer is a great way to minimise the risk of financial loss and still secure the legal help that you need. This is because you won’t be approached to pay a fee to your solicitor until the claim has been won and the compensation settlement has been received by your solicitor.

This means that the lawyer won’t ask you to pay any kind of new claims fee before they start processing your claim for you. You won’t pay any fees for the lifetime of your claim, no matter how long it takes. It also means that should the lawyer fail, and your claim is lost, you won’t have to pay the lawyer’s fees.

If your solicitor does win your claim for you, then they may ask you to pay a legally capped success fee, which will be a small amount of the overall compensation awarded.

If you have any questions about using the services of a No Win No Fee lawyer, then please speak to one of our advisors to have your questions answered.

How Could Medical Negligence Assist Help You?

We can connect you with a panel of lawyers and experienced medical negligence solicitors. Many of them have over three decades of experience helping victims of clinical negligence to get the compensation that they are entitled to. They can do the same for you.

We are always just a phone call away when you want an update on your claim, or have any questions at all about what your solicitor has been doing for you. We use easy to understand English with no legal jargon. And you can rest assured that your solicitor will do all they can to recover as much compensation for you as possible.

Contact Our Team

You can contact our team on 0800 652 3087. When you do, one of our expert advisors will answer any questions that you have, before moving on to evaluate your claim for you. If your claim is potentially valid, the advisor will recommend what your next actions should be.

Helpful Links

These external links might be useful to read over:

NHS Hospital Complaints

How To Complain To The NHS

Making A GP Complaint

You may also find these other pages published in this site to be useful:

Making A Claim Against A Hospital

Claiming Against A GP

Dental Negligence Claims


Guide by Mac

Edited by Ed