What Are Never Events And How Do I Claim Compensation?

In this guide, we will look at the process of claiming for harm caused by never events. If you have recently suffered harm as a direct result of medical negligence, you may be able to make a claim.

Never events

Never events claims guide

In this guide, we shall explain the duty of care that all medical practitioners owe their patients, regardless of whether they work in the public or private healthcare sector. Additionally, we shall explore the evidence that you could gather to help support your potential medical negligence claim.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to discuss your specific claim, our friendly advisors are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can answer any questions you may have regarding medical negligence claims and can also provide you with some free legal advice.

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What Are Never Events?

The NHS define a never event as a serious incident that could have been entirely prevented if the proper frameworks had been followed. Never events are always examples of a breach of duty of care. Later in this guide, we shall provide some examples of never events.

In order to make a legitimate claim for medical negligence, you will need to prove that you suffered unnecessary harm due to a healthcare professional breaching their duty of care to you.

All medical professionals, whether they are a doctor, pharmacist, nurse or GP, owe their patients a duty of care. Per this duty, they must ensure that, as their patient, they provide you with the correct standard of care. This duty of care also can apply in various medical environments, e.g. the hospital, GP surgery and pharmacy. If a medical practitioner were to provide you with subpar care, and this caused you harm, it would be classed as medical negligence.

Never Event Statistics

According to the statistics provided by the NHS on never events, between the 1st of April 2021 and the 31st of January 2022, out of 377 serious incidents that were designated by their reporters as never events, 349 of those incidents met the requirements for a never event. 28 of those serious incidents did not meet the requirements of a never event.

Contact one of our advisors today for more information about medical negligence claims.

How Much Could I Get For Medical Negligence?

The value of a medical negligence claim for harm caused by a never event will depend on the specific circumstances of your claim. Generally, medical negligence claim settlements are divided into general and special damages.

General damages can compensate you for the harm you have experienced due to medical negligence. To help support your chances of a successful claim for general damages, you could provide evidence that you suffered harm. For example, a copy of your medical records could show the way you were affected by a never event.

When valuing claims, many legal professionals will use a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them. This is because the JCG provides compensation brackets for various injuries at different severity levels. Taking this into account, we have created the following compensation table for you. This is to help you gain a clearer understanding of how much you could potentially receive in general damages.

However, you should only use this table as a guide. The amount you actually receive will be affected by your circumstances.

Injury NotesAmount
Leg Injuries(a)(iii) One leg is amputated above the knee. Severity of phantom pains and any success of a prosthesis will affect how much is awarded.£104,830 to £137,470
Leg Injuries(a)(iv) One leg is amputated below the knee. The presence of complications with the amputation can affect how much is awarded.£97,980 to £132,990
Amputation of arms.(b)(i) One arm is amputated at the shoulder.Not less than £137,160
Amputation of arms.(b)(ii) One arm is amputate above the elbow. Use of a prosthesis may be difficult if the stump is short.£109,650 to £130,930
Amputation of arms.(b)(iii) One arm is amputated below the elbow. Phantom pains can affect how much is awarded.£96,160 to £109,650
Bladder(c) Control of the bladder has been seriously impaired. This can cause some incontinence and pain.£63,980 to £79,930
Bowels (d) The bowels natural function is impaired and there may be a need for a temporary colostomy following a severe abdominal injury.£44,590 to £69,730
Digestive System(a)(i) The digestive system is severely damaged, causing continuing discomfort and pain.£43,010 to £61,910
Kidney(c) Loss of one kidney. Other remains undamaged.£30,770 to £44,880
Spleen(a) The spleen is lost. This causes the immune system to become damaged which can cause a risk of internal infections.£20,800 to £26,290

You may also receive special damages as part of your medical negligence claim. Special damages compensate you for any of the financial losses that you have suffered due to the harm caused by medical negligence. Some of the expenses you could claim for include:

  • Loss of income and future earnings
  • Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
  • Any medical treatments you needed because of the never event

Providing evidence of these financial losses could help support your claim. For example, your bank statements could be used to show a loss of earnings. Contact our advisors today for free legal advice concerning your particular claim.

Examples Of How Never Events Happen

There are many ways in which never events could be caused by medical negligence. Some examples of instances that are classified as never events include:

  • Wrong site surgery – An invasive procedure being performed on the wrong site. e.g. your left leg needed to be amputated, but the surgeon amputated the right leg instead.
  • Retained foreign object post procedure – This is when a foreign object is left inside of a patient following a surgical procedure. This could include medical tools and equipment and may require emergency surgery to rectify the situation.
  • Wrong implant/prosthesis – When an implant or prosthesis is placed in the wrong place during any point of the procedure, for example, where the wrong intrauterine contraceptive is inserted.
  • Administration of medication by the wrong route – For example, a medication error where you are given a drug to take orally when it needed to be administered through an IV.

To find out whether you can claim for negligent treatment, contact our advisors today. If you have a valid case, you could be connected with a lawyer from our panel.

Proving Never Events

In order to claim for never events, you must prove:

  1. A healthcare professional owed you a duty of care.
  2. This healthcare professional breached their duty of care, resulting in the never event.
  3. As a result of this, you were harmed.

Providing evidence that medical negligence occurred and of your suffering could help support you in your claim for compensation. Some of the potential evidence you could provide include:

  • Correspondence following a direct complaint with the medical institution responsible for the medical negligence.
  • Your medical records stating that the never event occurred. For example, if the incorrect leg was amputated, this amputation would be listed on your medical records.
  • A copy of your medical records following the never event stating the harm you suffered and any additional treatments you required as a result of the medical negligence.

Additionally, you must ensure that you start your claim with the correct time limits. Generally, this is 3 years from the date medical negligence caused you harm or the date you realised medical negligence caused you harm.

However, there are some cases where the time limit can vary, such as if you were under 18 when the incident occurred or lack the mental capacity to claim.  You can contact our advisors today to see whether you are still within the time limit to make your claim.

Where Are The Best No Win No Fee Solicitors?

If you are considering making a medical negligence claim and would like to do so with legal representation, a solicitor from our experienced panel may be able to take on your claim with a No Win No Fee agreement in place. You might be offered a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is a kind of Conditional Fee Agreement.

When claiming with a No Win No Fee agreement, generally, you will not be expected to pay anything upfront to your solicitor to begin your claim. Additionally, you will usually not have to pay them for their services if the claim is unsuccessful. You will pay your solicitor a success fee (that is legally capped) from your compensation if the claim is successful.

If you would like more information regarding never events and how to claim compensation if you were harmed by one, you can contact our advisors. Our friendly team of advisors can answer any questions you may have concerning your medical negligence claim. They can also provide you with free legal advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Further Information About Never Events

For more articles about medical negligence:

If you are looking for further information, we’ve included the resources below:

If you have any questions regarding never events and claiming compensation,  you can contact our advisors today. 

Writer Megan Riker 

Publisher Fern Stiles