In 2018-2019, the NHS reported receiving 10,673 new medical negligence claims. In most cases, the medical negligence typically involved wrong, improper or substandard care, diagnosis, or treatment. In many cases, NHS staff will have made a mistake or failed to act at an appropriate time. Unfortunately these errors or omissions may have resulted in serious harm to a patient or even death.
If you and your family have experienced a poor standard of care or treatment, you may have grounds to sue the NHS for negligence. When making an NHS compensation claim it is important to note that the claim does not need to simply involve a GP, surgeon or consultant but can also include nurses, pharmacists, radiographers, ambulance crew and any other healthcare professionals.
Situations which commonly give rise to compensation claims include:
- Errors in providing medication or prescriptions, this includes prescribing the wrong medication or the wrong dose.
- A late or delayed diagnosis. This could include conditions such as heart issues, cancer, blood clots, appendicitis, gall stones, meningitis, endometriosis and fractures.
- Mistakes made before, during or after surgery.
- Mistakes or omissions made by ambulance crew or an A & E department.
- Negligent care and treatment before, during and after childbirth, including injury to mother or baby and prescription errors leading to birth defects e.g. Sodium Valproate claims.
- Errors involving dental treatment or the failure to diagnose an oral condition.
- Negligent administration of an injection which has resulted in injury.
- Acquiring hospital-related infections such as MRSA, Group B Strep, Sepsis, E Coli.
- Anaesthesia mistakes
- Dehydration or malnourishment and poor standards of care.
- Disclosure of treatment risks was not adequate therefore consent was not obtained.
- Mistakes related to lab work or test results
- Failure to properly monitor fluid or oxygen levels
The basics of NHS compensation claims:
- You’ll need to prove you received some form of insufficient or negligent care that resulted in your injury or made your condition worse.
- Claims need to be made within three years of the date the negligence took place or three years from when the injury was linked to the negligent care.
- Claims are final (unless specially agreed otherwise). Generally, once payment has been received, the patient agrees to pursue no further actions against the NHS for that negligent act, even if their condition worsens.
If you are considering suing the NHS for negligence, it is important to work with specialist medical negligence solicitors with experience of securing compensation from the NHS. At Devonshires Claims, our NHS negligence solicitors have helped secure justice and compensation for patients throughout England and Wales. We provide a free no-obligation case evaluation as well as a No Win No Fee agreement, so you can start your NHS claim with no upfront costs. To start your case evaluation or for more information call us today on 0333 577 9444, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online form.
What needs to be proven to ensure a successful NHS compensation claim?
In order to bring a successful claim for clinical or medical negligence you will need to satisfy two legal tests:
- Breach of duty – In order to establish a breach of duty by a health care professional it must be shown that the medical treatment you received fell below a reasonable standard. A ‘reasonable’ standard of treatment is treatment to be expected from a reasonably competent medical professional in the specific area of medicine concerned at the time of care.
- Causation – In order to establish causation it must be shown that the breach of duty of care directly resulted in a physical or psychological injury that would not have occurred otherwise.
In addition you must prove that you have suffered a loss.
You could be entitled to compensation from the NHS if it can be proven that the healthcare professional or organisation acted negligently and this negligence directly resulted in an injury or worsened an existing medical condition.
Who is eligible to make a claim against the NHS?
Anyone who has received negligent treatment that has caused some damage or injury.
What is the process of making a NHS medical negligence claim?
If you believe that you, your spouse or family member may be entitled to compensation, it recommended that you contact experienced medical negligence solicitors specialising in NHS claims. At Devonshires Claims our experts provide a free no-obligation case evaluation in order to determine if you have the grounds for a claim.
The stages of a medical negligence claim are:
- You will need to have the basic information about the circumstances of your claim.
- Contact medical negligence claims experts such as Devonshires Claims.
- Your medical negligence solicitor will request medical records and review your case and may request more information in order to improve your chances of winning your claim and obtaining a satisfactory compensation payment.
- The solicitor may request witness statements from other individuals eg family members.
- Your solicitor will ask a medical expert to review your case in order to determine if your care fell below the level expected from a medical practitioner.
- The solicitor will contact the individuals or institution involved and ask them to accept responsibility for the injury sustained. If liability is accepted, your solicitor may request interim compensation to help you with any current expenses such as medical care or equipment.
- If liability is not accepted, then the medical negligence solicitor will consider why, and if appropriate, instigate court proceedings. Your claim may then potentially be taken to trial.
Devonshires Claims medical negligence solicitors take the stress out of making a compensation claim.
Why choose us to represent you?
- We will move your case forward and keep your informed
- We have access to a network of medical experts and specialist barristers so that your case receives the best support
- We work hard to secure maximum compensation for our clients
- We operate on a no win no fee basis.
Can I make an NHS negligence claim on a no win no fee basis?
Devonshires Claims NHS negligence solicitors provide a no win no fee claims service. This also known as a “Conditional Fee Agreement” (CFAs).
The benefits to you are:
- No upfront costs to begin a compensation claim
- No costs to pay if your claim is not successful*
- Peace of mind knowing that we will make every effort to ensure that your compensation claim is successful
Under a conditional fee agreement, you are not charged any legal fees or costs at any time if your case is not successful*.
After the Event Insurance (ATE) :
When acting for our clients on a non win no fee basis, we may advise a client to take out a specialist policy called “After the Event Insurance Policy (ATE) This is usually a small cost (only payable from any damages you receive at the end of a successful case) and will protect you in the event that your claim is unsuccessful.
Other funding options
- Before the event legal expenses insurance – you may have cover via your motor or household insurance or credit card agreements
- Trade union – you may have legal insurance as a member of a trade union
- Private funding – you pay an hourly rate for the advice provided.
Our experts will provide you with clear information on the process and keep you informed throughout your case.
The time limit is three years from the date of the injury or from the reasonable date of knowledge.
Exceptions to the 3 year time limit:
The exception to this limit is if you are claiming compensation on behalf of a child. You can make a medical negligence claim on behalf of a child at any point until they are 18. Once they turn 18, the individual then has 3 years within which to make a claim themselves.
Lack of mental capacity:
A child or adult without capacity to run a claim, may not have a time limit within which to bring a claim. We recommend that you contact Devonshires Claims if you have any queries involving those who lack capacity and our specialist solicitors will be able to assist.
For more information on how to sue the NHS for negligent medical care or treatment or to start your free no-obligation case evaluation contact our NHS negligence solicitors on 0333 900 8787, email email@example.com or complete our online form.
Read Our FAQs
An NHS “Never Event” – is defined as a wholly preventable incident that should not have happened if NHS staff had followed specific guidance or safety recommendations. The Never Event list is regularly updated by the NHS and currently includes areas such as:
- Wrong-site surgery i.e. the wrong part of the body was operated on
- Foreign bodies left inside the body eg. swabs
- Failing to monitor oxygen levels
Because of the significance of Never Events, it is unlikely that the NHS would deny liability if a patient tried to claim compensation. However even if the NHS admits a breach of duty, causation must still be proven.
If you are considering suing the NHS for a Never Event, contact our specialist NHS claims solicitors who can assist you in obtaining compensation.
The compensation payout for NHS negligence can vary drastically. This is due to a number of factors, some of which include:
- The nature of the injury sustained.
- The seriousness of the injury
- The impact of the injury on your lifestyle or ability to work
- The amount of time it will take you to recover
- The need for further treatment, surgery or rehabilitation
- Your age
- Any potential complications that might arise from your injury in the future
- Your loss of earnings including loss of promotion prospects and pension contributions.
In most instances, the medical expert assigned to your case will create a “condition and prognosis” report to detail the extent of your injuries and the likely course of your recovery. This will often serve as the platform for negotiating a settlement with the NHS.
In some instances, treatment may be recommended before a final prognosis can be given. In such a case, it is often advisable to finish this treatment before agreeing to a final figure for compensation. As all NHS negligence claims are generally settled on a “full and final” basis, you cannot request further compensation once your claim is settled.
As well as compensation related to pain and suffering, it is possible to seek reimbursement for expenses incurred due to the injury. Common out-of-pocket expenses include medical costs, lost wages, travel costs, and more. You need to be able to prove these financial losses, therefore it is important that you keep receipts for taxi fares, items purchased, etc.
We understand that you may want to make a complaint directly to the NHS organisation and also receive an apology – along with your financial compensation. Though you may feel reluctant to make an NHS complaint against a doctor or member of their staff, it is unlikely that you will need to make such a complaint directly to the person who caused your injury.
It is also important to remember that filing a complaint can help highlight important safety issues and allow for crucial policy improvements to be made. You can make these complaints in writing, verbally, or both. Most providers will take several weeks to process the complaint and issue a response.
It should be noted that complaints:
- Can be submitted to providers in writing or verbally. If you do not feel comfortable doing either, you can also submit the complaint directly to the NHS commission.
- Need to be brought within 12 months of the date of the event or your becoming aware of the issue.
- Will not result in compensation.
- Often provide you with the answers and info you need to begin filing a claim.
Medical negligence claims made against the NHS will not only highlight the nature and extent of your injury but may help prevent it happening to other patients. The compensation awarded to you will:
- Acknowledge the injury that you sustained
- Highlight errors or negligent care for the benefit other patients
- Provide financial compensation for the poor treatment received
- Provide financial compensation for any further care, treatment, rehabilitation, carers, aid devices or prosthetics required
You can continue to receive treatment at the same institution against which you raised a complaint. The complaint should not affect the treatment and care you receive.
Other than the most extreme situations, the answer will generally be no. We cannot take direct action against those responsible for the medical negligence that resulted in your injury or illness. The compensation process is focused on recovering compensation for the patient while also raising awareness of potential problems.
Ultimately, it is up to the institutions in question and other professional bodies to decide if punitive action needs to be taken against a specific medical professional or staff member.
Yes. Death due to NHS negligence or mistakes is often the result of:
- Delayed diagnosis or Misdiagnosis
- Injury-related to childbirth
- Medication errors
- Anaesthesia errors
- Surgery errors
If you believe that your partner, child or other family member died as a result of mistakes or negligent care or treatment in the NHS, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim. Contact our experts for more information.
Steps to Take if You Suspect Medical Negligence Resulted in the Death of You Partner or Family Member:
- Document and organise all available evidence including medical records, correspondence, prescription details.
- Document the names of the staff involved.
- Document your expenses eg. Funeral costs, loss of dependency income and/or services.
Who Can Bring a Medical Negligence Death Claim?
In the event of a death due to medical negligence, only certain individuals can bring a medical negligence compensation claim. These include:
- The deceased’s family
- The deceased’s dependents
- The deceased’s estate
What Claims Can be Made Regarding Death Due to Medical Negligence?
When making an NHS claim for compensation, there are a variety of expenses, damages, and costs which you can claim. These include:
- General Damages – Compensation for injury sustained and the resulting pain and suffering.
- Special Damages – Include hospice expenses, care, ambulance costs, and other expense related to treating the victim.
- Travel Expenses –Include all travel costs related to visiting the family member in hospital as well as travel to related services such as solicitors.
- A loss of future earnings – These include the deceased’s loss of income or salary and pension payouts.
- Funeral Expenses – Funeral costs are often part of the settlement package.
Ultimately, it can be a complex process to calculate the compensation which can be claimed for the death of a spouse or family member. Because of the complexity, it is recommended that you contact solicitors specialising in claiming compensation from the NHS.
At Devonshires Claims our medical negligence solicitors will help you obtain justice and the maximum compensation payout for you and your family
Around 98% of successful claims brought against the NHS are settled out of court, so it is highly unlikely that your claim will require you to go to court.
At Devonshires Claims we understand that the prospect of going to court is stressful. Fortunately, your solicitor will work hard on your behalf to negotiate an out of court settlement, only initiating litigation if the other party refuses to accept responsibility or to agree on a fair compensation amount.
If your claim does go to court, you can be confident that your dedicated solicitor will be with you every step of the way.
Annual report and accounts 2018/19 – NHS Resolution
How to Claim Compensation for NHS Medical Negligence
If you believe that you or a loved one received negligent care or medical treatment by an NHS GP, surgeon, consultant, nurse or hospital, you could be entitled to compensation.
Our NHS compensation claims service provides:
- A free no-obligation case evaluation
- Advice on the probability of success for an NHS compensation claim and the amount of compensation you could potentially obtain
- Friendly, compassionate and experienced claims experts
- A No Win No Fee agreement i.e. you will not incur any costs if your claim is not successful*.
- Access to a network of medical experts and specialist barristers
Our experts work hard to secure victims of medical negligence the justice and compensation they deserve.