NHS Delayed Diagnosis – Could I Claim Compensation?

This guide will look at how an NHS delayed diagnosis could potentially occur. Furthermore, we will look at the process of making a medical negligence claim for avoidable harm caused by a breach of duty of care.

To begin, we will look at the eligibility criteria for making a medical negligence claim. We’ll also provide some examples of how a delay in diagnosis could occur and the impact it could have on the person being treated.

NHS delayed diagnosis

NHS delayed diagnosis

This guide will also look at how settlements can be valued and the benefits offered when you choose to work with a No Win No Fee solicitor. If you have any queries about making a claim, then you can get in touch with our team for a free consultation; they may be able to connect you with a lawyer from our panel if your claim is valid.

Please get in touch with us to begin your claim today:

  • Call our claims helpline on 0800 652 3087
  • Begin your claim online via our website
  • Chat with someone using the live chat feature below

Select A Section

Can You Sue The NHS For Delay In Treatment

All medical professionals owe a duty of care to any patient they treat. This means that the level of care they provide cannot fall below a minimum standard.

If a breach of duty of care has caused you to sustain harm that you otherwise would not have experienced, and this harm is unnecessary, then you could be entitled to claim. You would need to show that:

  • You were owed a duty of care by the medical professional.
  • The medical professional breached the duty of care that they owed you, meaning that the care that they provided didn’t meet the level expected of them.
  • As a result of this duty of care breach, you were caused unnecessary and avoidable harm.

Harm in a medical setting can sometimes be necessary or unavoidable. For example, if you have appendicitis, then you will need to undergo an operation which will cause you pain and require recovery. However, if it was necessary to treat you this would not be an example of the basis of a valid claim.

If you would like to find out how a potential NHS delayed diagnosis could be caused by a breach of duty of care, speak with an advisor today. They could tell you whether you have a valid compensation claim.

Examples Of Delayed Diagnosis

Delayed diagnosis can have a harmful impact on your health. Some conditions get worse the longer they go without treatment. For example, if you experienced a delayed diagnosis in a heelbone fracture, this could cause the injury to get worse and you might need

Furthermore, if there’s a delay in diagnosing your condition you might receive a medical misdiagnosis in the interim. If your diagnosis was delayed because of a breach of duty of care, and you experienced unnecessary harm as a result, you could be entitled to claim.

Below we have included some examples of how a diagnosis could be delayed:

  • A doctor fails to refer a patient to a specialist despite them exhibiting symptoms that should prompt this.
  • A patient attends the hospital with a suspected fracture, but the X-ray is read incorrectly meaning that they’re told it’s just a sprain.
  • A patient with breast cancer is initially told that they have a swollen lymph node. Because of this misdiagnosis, their actual diagnosis and subsequent treatment is delayed.

If you have any queries about medical negligence claims following a potential NHS delayed diagnosis, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. They can answer questions such as, “under what circumstances could I make a claim against the NHS?“.

Evidence When Claiming For Delayed Diagnosis

You might be wondering if you require proof in order to make a medical negligence claim. Below, we have included examples of some of the forms of proof of medical negligence you could provide:

  • Medical records
  • A diary of your symptoms
  • Witness contact details so that they can provide a statement. For example, you may have had a chaperone in the room with you and your doctor when you first approached them with your symptoms.

The Bolam Test might also be utilised as part of the claims process. This is where a group of other medical professionals that have the appropriate training are asked to give their opinion as to whether the actions of the professional in question met the duty of care they owed you. If not, then this could support your claim.

If you have questions about how a potential NHS delayed diagnosis could happen as a result of negligence, speak with our team today.

Medical Negligence Claim Time Limits

There is generally a three-year time limit for beginning a medical negligence claim. This is set out in the Limitation Act 1980. The time limit will begin on the date the negligence occurred or the date that you knew (or would have been expected to know) that your harm was caused by negligence.

This time limit can vary in some cases. For example:

  • If the claimant is not yet 18, the time limit would be suspended until they are. At this point, they’d have 3 years to claim themselves.
  • If the claimant is not mentally capable of pursuing their own claim, then the time limit is indefinitely suspended. It resumes in the event that they become capable of claiming and they have 3 years to do so.

If you would like to know more about the time limits that apply to medical negligence claims, speak with our team today. They can also explain when a potential NHS delayed diagnosis could form the basis of a valid claim.

What Is The Average Settlement When Suing The NHS For Delayed Diagnosis?

You might be tempted to use a medical negligence calculator to value your compensation claim. However, this might not give you an accurate assessment of how much your medical negligence claim is worth; this is because there are various factors that influence how much medical negligence compensation you could be awarded.

Two heads of claim could make up a payout for medical negligence; these are called general and special damages. General damages account for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that your injuries have caused you.

This head of claim is valued with the help of a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines, which legal professionals use to help them assign a value to harm in medical negligence and other kinds of claims.

Category Severity Compensation Bracket Notes
Brain Moderately Severe £219,070 to £282,010Very serious disabilities will occur as a result. Claimant will have a substantial level of dependence on others and a need for full time care.
Sight Total Blindness In the region of £268,720
Complete loss of sight in both eyes.
Brain Moderate (ii) £90,720 to £150,110Moderate to modest impact on intellect and a greatly reduced capacity to undertake work. Some risk of epilepsy.
Deafness Total Deafness With Speech Loss £109,650 to £140,660Where deafness has occurred early enough that it prevents or affects how speech develops.
Lung Disease Serious Disability £100,670 to £135,920In a young person where the condition will probably worsen to the point of premature death.
Bladder Serious £63,980 to £79,930
Control is seriously impaired. Some incontinence and pain.
Reproductive System (Male) Uncomplicated £56,080 to £71,350
Sterility without impotence and without any aggravating features in someone young who does not have children.
Kidney Significant Up to £63,980Significant risk of infection in the urinary tract or other impact on kidney function.
Spleen Loss £20,800 to £26,290Ongoing risk of infection because of the immune system's damage.
Reproductive System (Female)Unaffected Fertility£3,390 to £20,430Delay in diagnosing an ectopic pregnancy without an impact on fertility.

You may also be eligible to claim special damages to reimburse you for any financial costs or losses associated with your injuries. However, we have not included potential special damages payouts in this table.

Special damages can include the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Care costs
  • Reimbursement for any income lost
  • Mobility equipment and home adaptation expenses if your injuries cause a permanent disability.

To find out how a potential claim against the NHS for a delayed diagnosis could be valued, speak with a member of our team today.

Do I Need An Experienced Solicitor When Suing The NHS For Delayed Diagnosis?

If you wish to make a delayed diagnosis claim, Medical Negligence Assist can help you. We can connect you to our panel of solicitors, who have solid experience handling medical malpractice claims and can provide you with legal advice to support your claim. Our panel of solicitors may be able to handle your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis by offering a Conditional Fee Agreement.

You don’t pay an upfront solicitors fee when you work with a No Win No Fee lawyer. Instead, you will pay a success fee if you win your claim. However, you will not have to pay a success fee if you do not win your claim.

To see if you could begin a delayed diagnosis claim today, please get in touch with us using the information below:

  • Call us on 0800 652 3087 to speak with a claims advisor
  • Claim online via our website
  • Chat with an advisor using our support feature below

NHS Negligence Claims Resources

Please feel free to read these guides to learn more about medical negligence claims:

We have also included the following resources for your reference:

Thank you for reading our guide on when someone could potentially sue the NHS for a delayed diagnosis that caused harm.

Guide by Hana

Edited by Fern