NHS Negligence Claims
The NHS leads the world in public healthcare. The valuable resource is the oldest system of its kind anywhere in the world, and one other countries have sought to emulate. Given the many millions of sessions of treatment the NHS provides every year – babies delivered, operations, consultations, tooth extractions and physical therapy sessions – it is impressive to know that most patients receive a high standard of care. Unfortunately, mistakes happen, and when they do, The Medical Negligence Experts are here to help you obtain compensation.
The NHS was created to provide an excellent standard of health care to everyone, not only those who can afford it. When you sprain your ankle, need a prescription, have to have a cavity filled, or find yourself suffering from a life-threatening illness, the NHS is there. People trust it to take care of them from conception to death, but a growing population and budget constraints have stretched it further than it can comfortably go. It is not fair that you should have to suffer physically or financially because of someone else’s error. If you have experienced illness, injury or bereavement through NHS negligence, contact The Medical Negligence Experts today.
What is NHS Negligence?
Most treatments come with some degree of risk. When your care provider fails to take every reasonable step to avoid these risks and you are harmed, it may be considered NHS negligence.
There is such a large volume of claims made for NHS negligence that they have their own in-house legal department to handle them, called the NHS Litigation Authority.
The majority of clients we represent are those who are claiming compensation for NHS negligence. It is a field lawyers at The Medical Negligence Experts are particular skilled in, and we have an excellent track record in obtaining successful outcomes for our clients.
The list of types of NHS negligence is long and detailed but includes:
- Inadequate assessment leading to incorrect treatment.
- Surgical errors, including perforated organs and inadequate postoperative care.
- Anaesthetic negligence.
- Hospital-acquired infections, including MRSA.
- Errors when prescribing and administering medication.
- Birth injuries during pregnancy, labour, or after the birth.
- Delayed referral.
You must meet the following criteria for your claim to be considered:
- The doctor or caregiver acted in a way which was below what is considered an acceptable professional standard. This is determined by looking at your experience and whether the actions taken by your doctor or health professional would be supported by a reasonable body of clinical opinion. The test is called the Bolam principle, and it verifies whether your care provider“…acted in accordance with a practice accepted as proper by a responsible body of medical men skilled in that particular art”.
- Your injury or illness needs to be directly linked to the failure of your health professional to uphold their duty of care. If there is a strong probability that you would have been injured even if the health professional had acted correctly, then your claim is unlikely to be successful.
An example of this second point relates to an example claim of delayed diagnosis. A compensation claim was made against a GP who failed to refer a patient for tests even though he was showing obvious symptoms of early prostate cancer. The doctor accepted their mistake but argued that the patient’s cancer would have progressed regardless of their negligence. The patient’s lawyers obtained independent medical evidence to support his belief that his cancer treatment would not have been as invasive and debilitating had his cancer been diagnosed sooner. His claim was upheld, and he was awarded a five-figure settlement in recognition of the pain his more aggressive treatment caused, and financial loss due to him requiring additional time away from work.
NHS Complaints and NHS Negligence Compensation
Our clients pursue compensation not only because they deserve to have their expenses caused by negligence to be covered but to have their injury recognised and acknowledged, and for those who caused it to take responsibility for the results of their error.
Claims made against the NHS for negligent care are always handled by the NHS Litigation Authority, and we are very familiar with their processes. The NHS estimates that 98% of claims are settled out of court, meaning you are highly unlikely to have the stress of a court case.
If you feel you have received inadequate treatment but there are no grounds to claim for negligence, we will be able to advise on making a formal complaint to the NHS.
The NHS has an extremely well-defined and robust system for patients who want to complain about their poor standard of care. Raising a complaint is different to raising a claim for compensation. Every NHS organisation has to have a clearly defined complaints procedure. You can obtain a copy of this by asking them for it in person, over the phone or by email. Some NHS trusts also have their policy published on their website.
An NHS complaint:
- Can be raised with your care provider in writing or verbally. If you do not feel comfortable doing this directly, you can submit your complaint to the NHS commissioning body.
- Needs to be raised within 12 months of the date of the event, or 12 months of the date you became aware of it.
- Does not give you any compensation.
- Can provide you with answers and information that will help support a claim for damages.
You do not need a lawyer to make a complaint. If you are unsure about what to do or how to proceed, or you want independent support, get in touch with the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) or the Independent Health Advocacy Service.
An NHS compensation claim:
- Needs to prove you received a substandard of care and that this directly led to your injury.
- Is typically done with the support of a specialist medical negligence solicitor who can help you gather evidence and create a strong claim.
- Must be raised within three years of the date of the negligence, or three years from when your injury was linked to your negligent care.
- Will award you a payment of money, if successful.
- Will not lead to an apology or assurance that actions will be taken to prevent your experience happening to someone else.
- Is final. Once you accept the payment, you agree not to pursue further action or compensation, even if it turns out that your injury was worse than initially believed.
NHS Negligence Claims FAQ
We are happy to give you a free, no obligation consultation to answer any questions you may have about your entitlement to claim or the process for doing so. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive. If the answer to your question isn’t here just give us a call or fill in our online form and one of our expert legal advisors can help.
Do I have the right to claim compensation against the NHS?
If you have endured an unacceptable standard of care and been injured as a result, you may be entitled to claim compensation. It is not enough that you received negligent care if your health was not adversely affected, nor is it sufficient to be injured if you are unable to prove it was directly linked to negligence.
Is there a time limit for making a NHS negligence claim?
A medical negligence claim must be raised within three years of the event or, if you were under 18 at the time, by your 21st birthday. Expert legal advice is always to talk to a medical negligence solicitor at the earliest opportunity, even if you are still physically recovering. We can help you access the rehabilitative support you need and can potentially secure an interim payment if the other party acknowledges liability but your claim is taking a long time to process and you need urgent financial support.
How long will my claim take?
The processing time of your request will depend on whether the other party accepts responsibility and the nature and healing time of your injury. As a general rule, claims relating to life-changing injuries, or those where it can take time to determine the long-term prognosis and lasting impact on the victim’s life, take longer than claims where a patient can recover quickly.
Some parts of the timeline are legally defined. For example, the defendant has up to four months to perform their investigation and respond to your application for compensation, acknowledging or denying liability.
How much compensation will I receive?
As with the processing time, your payment amount will depend on the nature of your injury and how it has affected your life. Compensation is divided into two amounts. One figure takes into account your pain and suffering. There are guidelines set out by the Judicial College which are regularly updated and used as industry standard guidelines for determining payment amounts. The other figure recognises any expenses you have incurred as the result of your injury that you would otherwise not have had to pay had you not been hurt.
Can I afford to make a NHS claim?
Hiring a lawyer privately can be expensive. At The Medical Negligence Experts we believe quality legal support should be accessible to everyone who needs it. All our solicitors can represent clients on a No Win No Fee* basis. This conditional fee agreement means that you do not have to pay any money up front. If your claim is successful, your legal fees will be paid by the other party, and you will pay us a success fee, which is a percentage of your compensation agreed at the start of the process. If you lose, you do not pay us a penny in legal costs and an insurance policy – either one you already have or an After the Event police we can advise on – will pay the other party’s legal fees.
A No Win No Fee* NHS claim lets you afford to apply for compensation without the financial risk of your request failing. It also gives you the reassurance that your lawyer will do all they can to ensure your claim is a success because their payment depends on the outcome.
Will I have to go to court?
It is highly unlikely you will need to go to court. The vast majority of compensation claims raised against the NHS (98%) are resolved out of court. Of the remaining 2%, some are closed because there are not legitimate grounds to claim, leaving you with a slender 1% likelihood of going to court.
We appreciate the prospect of going to court can be stressful. We work hard to negotiate an out of court settlement on your behalf and will only advise litigation if the other party refuses to accept responsibility but we can prove it, or if you can’t reach agreement on a fair and reasonable compensation payment. If your claim does go to court, you can feel confident knowing that your legal team will be with you all the way, supporting and advising you to reach the best possible outcome.
How Can We Help?
For a compensation claim for NHS negligence to be successful, you must be able to demonstrate that you have suffered an injury and that this injury was the direct result of negligent care provided by the NHS. Proving negligence and damage is a long and complicated process and where having experienced lawyers like The Medical Negligence Experts on your team will help.
Before you decide anything, it is worth seeking legal advice to ascertain whether you have just cause to make a claim. We can do this by looking at your injury and the circumstances surrounding it, using our expertise and experience in handling medical negligence claims, and speaking with independent medical experts to determine if negligence caused your injury, and whether it can be proven.
Contact The Medical Negligence Experts today and let us assist you to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Need some help?
Am I eligible?
If you have suffered from medical negligence in the past 3 years, the short answer is yes.
However, medical negligence can be complicated, so we recommend that you speak with one of our expert solicitors - It’s Free.
How much could I claim?
As every medical case is different, the amount of compensation paid out can differ. Varying factors lead to the final figure include: the level of negligence, earnings missed out on, future losses and more.
Our experienced team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim.
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party of your claim. With your dedicated solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be kept up to date every step of the way.
Why should you use us?
No Win No Fee
We offer a No Win No Fee* service on all our claims - We assess each claim on its merits with the information provided, which aids us to determine its likely success rate. This takes the risk away from you.
Expert, Friendly Solicitors
Our experienced solicitors are experts in securing compensation no matter the level of negligence.
We are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you, while providing friendly support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Solicitors
On contact, you will be allocated your own expert Medical Negligence solicitor who will be there every step of the way. You will be provided with a direct phone number and direct email address of your solicitor.
Expert NHS negligence claims solicitors working for you
We specialise in helping victims of medical negligence claim the compensation they deserve.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay! Once you make contact, your experienced solicitor will work to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Whether you are ready to make a NHS negligence claim, or you would just like a free conversation with a legal professional, we have experts on hand to give you all the information you need. Take the first step to getting what you deserve by filling in our quick contact form and we will call you back whenever suits you.