Advice On How to Claim Against The NHS For Negligence

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How To Claim Against The NHS

By Jo Greenwood. Last Updated 4th January 2024. This guide is on how to claim against the NHS. On this page, you will find a full and detailed guide to the process of making a compensation claim for an injury or illness caused by medical negligence.

The National Health Service (NHS) as an organisation, has a duty to care for every single patient. When something goes wrong, and a patient comes to harm such as developing an illness or being injured, then it is possible to claim compensation from the NHS.

How to Claim Against the NHS

How to Claim Against the NHS Guide

If you would prefer not to read all of this guide, and simply move on to making a claim today, then please call Legal Expert on 0800 073 8804 today and we can help you to begin your NHS trusts claim.

How to claim against the NHS

In order to make a medical negligence claim against the NHS, the onus will be on you to prove that medical negligence led to an injury, illness or worsening of your condition. As we’ve already mentioned, negligence is where a medical professional provides care that’s of an unacceptable standard.

Firstly, you can make an NHS complaint to the organisation directly, preferably in writing so you can keep a record of your correspondence. Once this is done, you should expect to receive a response to your complaint, specifically from the hospital or medical practice at which you suffered, in a matter of weeks. This could be useful if they explain their failings that led you to suffer, as this could be used to evidence your claim against them.

For free legal advice about making a claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of specialist advisors today for a consultation. In the meantime, read on to learn more.

Select a Section:

  1. A Guide To Making A Claim Against The NHS
  2. When Might You Need To Make A Claim Against The NHS
  3. What Is NHS Resolution?
  4. What Specialist Compensation Schemes Are Available?
  5. How Is Clinical Negligence Defined Under Law?
  6. What Duty Of Care Does The NHS Owe Patients?
  7. What Types Of Claims Against The NHS Can You Make With Legal Expert?
  8. NHS Negligence Claims Time Limit
  9. What Would Be Included In A Successful Claim Against The NHS?
  10. Claiming Against The NHS – Examples Of Special Damages
  11. No Win No Fee Solicitors For Medical Negligence
  12. Contact Legal Expert’s Medical Negligence Solicitors Today
  13. Helpful Resources

A Guide To Making A Claim Against The NHS

If you suffer harm at the hands of a medical professional, for example, you contracted an infection whilst staying in the hospital, then you should be able to claim compensation from the NHS.

Can you sue the NHS?

This guide is intended to educate anyone who has suffered due to medical negligence about the process of making a compensation claim. This will help you to understand what your legal team will be doing on your behalf while they are pursuing your personal injury claim. This guide covers all the key facts, as well as details of what you need to do to make a claim. This guide on how to make a successful claim against the NHS contains information such as:

  • An examination of the events that could lead to a case of medical negligence, which in turn, would lead to a person needing to make a claim.
  • A description of NHS Resolution. What it is, how it works, and the way it can affect the claims process for a person suing the NHS.
  • A list of all the special compensation schemes in the UK that are in place to help people who have been the victim of clinical negligence at the hands of the NHS.
  • A look at the legal definition of clinical/medical negligence/malpractice in the eyes of the UK legal system.
  • An overview of the duty of care that every medical professional owes every patient.
  • A list of the type of compensation claims that Legal Expert can help you make against the NHS.
  • Information on the types of damages a compensation settlement will typically comprise of. It covers special damages and general damages.
  • An introduction to the medical negligence claims service that Legal Expert offers under a No Win No Fee scheme. We also explain why we believe this claims service is the best way to sue the NHS.

If you have any more questions or need extra information, then please reach out to Legal Expert on the number at the bottom of this page and we will do our very best to assist you further.

When Might You Need To Make A Claim Against The NHS

There are many reasons why you might want to make a compensation claim, including:

  • Infection – if you contract an infection while you are staying in the hospital.
  • Delayed treatment – if you do not receive treatment quickly enough, causing your health to deteriorate.
  • Surgical negligence – if a surgeon makes a mistake or has an accident while operating on you.
  • Misdiagnosis – if a doctor diagnoses you with the wrong medical condition, causing you to receive the wrong treatment.
  • Badly administered treatment – if medical professionals make a mistake whilst providing treatment or provide treatment in a damaging way.

These are some of the most common reasons why people seek compensation from the NHS, but there are many more. Call Legal Expert on the number at the bottom of the page so we can tell you whether you have a viable claim in your own situation. And if you do, we can then advise further on how to claim.

What Is NHS Resolution?

NHS Resolution, formerly known as the NHS Litigation Authority, is a branch of the NHS sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care. It manages all personal injury claims made against the NHS in the UK each year. They aim to help members of the public claim compensation from the NHS, and also to help the NHS to improve its own service.

Legal Expert is experienced in pursuing compensation claims that involve the NHS. Call us at the number at the bottom of this page so we can leverage this experience to win you the compensation that you are entitled to.

What Specialist Compensation Schemes Are Available?

Certain medical negligence claims may go through schemes designed to address specific types of negligence.

For example, the England Infected Blood Support Scheme (EIBSS) was put in place to help members of the general public make compensation claims when they have been harmed due to being given infected blood during a transfusion, or when receiving other blood-derived products during their treatment.

Legal Expert is experienced in dealing with such schemes and can help you to make your own claim. Call us at the number at the bottom of this page to find out how to claim compensation from the NHS.

How Is Clinical Negligence Defined Under Law?

A personal injury lawyer needs to understand just what clinical negligence is in the eyes of the law in the UK. Clinical negligence can be defined as any action a medical professional takes, or that they fail to take by omission, which does not follow the generally accepted medical practices adhered to by the entire medical community, that results in harm being caused to the patient.

Legal Expert operates a highly skilled and experienced team of clinical negligence solicitors across the UK. Call us on the number at the bottom of this page so that we can begin representing you in a clinical negligence claim immediately.

What Duty Of Care Does The NHS Owe Patients?

All medical professionals have a duty of care to provide a minimum standard of care to all patients. This includes doctors, surgeons, nurses and all others charged with patient care.

Every medical professional in the UK is required by law to maintain their duty of care at all times. When a doctor fails in the duty of care, either by action or omission, clinical negligence will be deemed to have occurred.

Legal Expert can help you to prove that your doctor has failed in their duty of care and caused you harm. Call us at the number at the bottom of this page to find out how.

What Types Of Claims Against The NHS Can You Make With Legal Expert?

Legal Expert operates a team of personal injury solicitors that are experienced in making NHS medical negligence claims. We can assist you in claiming compensation against the NHS across a very wide range of types of cases, including:

  • Negligence pertaining to Obstetrics and Gynaecology – when a woman suffers harm due to being treated incorrectly by an obstetrician or gynaecologist.
  • Serious events – this includes any major problem which could have been entirely avoided, such as a person receiving entirely the wrong operation.
  • Misdiagnosis – when a person is diagnosed with the wrong medical condition, this can lead to a potentially fatal delay in treating the right condition.
  • Bad advice – when a medical professional gives completely the wrong advice to a patient, such as how to care for their injury, and it results in harm being caused.
  • Wrongly prescribed medication – which leads to a negative health effect such as an allergic reaction or toxic reaction.
  • Surgical malpractice – which is caused by mistakes being made during surgery, or an accident taking place during the procedure.

These are the most common types of claims we see here at Legal Expert. There are many more. Call us on the number at the bottom of this page so that we can tell you whether we believe you have a valid reason to claim.

NHS Negligence Claims Time Limit

As part of the answer to the question ‘can I claim compensation against the NHS?’, people need to understand that there is a time limit in place, within which people who wish to make a claim for clinical negligence against the NHS must begin their claim. This time limit is three years from the time the medical negligence took place, or from the date you became aware the negligence had affected you.

If a person is under the age of 18 when the medical negligence occurred, then their legal guardian will need to make an NHS negligence complaint on their behalf. When someone acts on the behalf of a minor in civil proceedings, they are known as a litigation friend. If their guardian fails to make a claim, then when the patient reaches the age of 18, they will be able to make a claim themselves, even if the negligence occurred longer than 3 years ago. Once they do turn 18, the three-year time limit comes into play.

If you are getting close to the time limit for making an NHS claim, call Legal Expert on the number at the bottom of this page so that we can expedite your claim.

What Would Be Included In A Successful Claim Against The NHS?

You may be wondering whether you can seek medical negligence compensation. Both the NHS and private healthcare organisations owe a duty of care to their patients. If this is breached resulting in a patient sustaining avoidable harm, compensation could be awarded if a successful claim is made.

After making a successful claim, part of your settlement could include general damages. This head of claim compensates for the pain and suffering caused by the avoidable harm you experienced due to medical negligence.

Solicitors can value this head of claim by referring to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document contains compensation brackets for different types of harm. The table below includes some of these figures. However, you should only use these as a guide. This is because when you make a claim for medical negligence, the different aspects of your case will be considered. As such, the amount you receive may differ from the figures in the table.

Illness Severity Notes Potential Compensation
Brain Damage Very Severe The injured party will show little or no meaningful response to their environment, be doubly incontinent, have little or no language function and need a nurse full-time. £282,010 to £403,990
Kidney Serious Serious and permanent damage may affect both kidneys or they have been lost entirely. £169,400 to £210,400
Leg Injuries – Amputations Above-knee amputation of one leg (iii) Various factors will affect the overall award, including amputation level, phantom pains, psychological problems and side effects. £104,830 to £137,470
Arm Amputations Loss of one arm The claimant’s arm has been amputated below the elbow. £96,160 to £109,650
Female Reproductive System Dysfunction In this bracket, the injured party either has children or would not have had them in any event. They suffer with sexual dysfunction that is likely permanent. £43,010 to £102,100
Male Reproductive System Signficant The claimant suffers significant sexual dysfunction or impotence. This is likely permanent. They already have children or would not have had them at any rate. £43,010 to £88,750
Bladder Serious Claimants suffer with some pain, urinary incontinence and control impairments. £63,980 to £79,930
Lung Disease Significant In this bracket, lung disease causes significant worsening of lung function along with breathing impairments, prolonged and frequent coughing and physical restrictions. £54,830 to £70,030
Spleen Loss The claimant experiences a continuing risk of internal infections and disorders brought about by a damaged immune system due to the loss of their spleen. £20,800 to £26,290

Claiming Against The NHS – Examples Of Special Damages

If you are successful in claiming against the NHS, your payout might also include special damages. This head of claim compensates you for out-of-pocket expenses caused by the harm you suffered. There are several costs and losses that could be compensated for as special damages, such as:

  • Medical expenses – This could include costs of over-the-counter medications or prescription costs.
  • Travel expenses – This could cover the costs of travel to medical appointments, for example.
  • Loss of income – You might have had to take time off work and lost out on income because of the unnecessary harm you suffered.
  • Care costs – This could include the costs of your at-home care, if the harm you’ve suffered resulted in you needing such care.

You will be required to provide evidence of any out-of-pocket expenses you claim for. Evidence that could support such claims could include receipts, bank statements and payslips.

To learn more about payouts for medical negligence claims, you can contact our advisors. They could give you personalised guidance on what you could claim.

No Win No Fee Solicitors For Medical Negligence

After suffering pain or harm because of medical negligence, our solicitors could help you prepare evidence for your claim and improve your chances of receiving compensation. However, if you are concerned about funding the work of a solicitor, you could seek No Win No Fee solicitors.

Our No Win No Fee solicitors for medical negligence typically require no upfront payment to begin working on your claim. Additionally, any ongoing costs during the claims process are covered by the arrangement.

Furthermore, you’ll only have to pay your solicitor’s fees if your claim succeeds. If you have used a No Win No Fee solicitor, after successful claims against the NHS, the solicitor deducts a success fee that is capped under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.

Check your eligibility to work with our expert legal team by getting in touch with our advisors.

The Process Of Making A Claim Against The NHS

The NHS owe a duty of care to the people they provide care to. If you have suffered harm due to the negligence of the NHS, you may seek to mitigate your losses by claiming compensation from the NHS.

There are several steps involved in the process of making a claim against the NHS. For example, you could gather evidence to strengthen your claim. This could include:

  • Records of the communication you have had with the service provider that caused you to sustain harm due to negligence. For instance, if you have put in a complaint about the care you received, any response you received could be used as evidence.
  • Medical records such as those from your doctor or hospital that show the treatment and diagnosis you received. You could also attend a medical appointment that is completed by an independent practitioner. This could produce a report on the current state of your injuries.

Additionally, you could seek legal advice from one of our solicitors who can guide you through the process of making a claim against the NHS. They could represent your case on a No Win No Fee basis provided your case is valid and has a chance of success. 

If you’d like to find out more about what NHS compensation claims are, call our team. Alternatively, you can learn more from our guides about hospital negligence claims and NHS negligence claims.

Contact Legal Expert’s Medical Negligence Solicitors Today

To find out what could constitute successful claims against the NHS, speak to our medical negligence claim advisors today. They can provide free legal advice. If they believe you have valid grounds to pursue a claim, they could connect you with one of our medical negligence solicitors.

No matter where you are based in the country, our solicitors could help you. They deal with all types of clinical negligence, including:

● Misdiagnosis of cancer
● Medication errors
● Dental negligence
● Hospital infection

Have you suffered harm because of substandard care at the NHS? Is a claim something you are interested in making? Then call our advisors; they are on hand 24/7 and offer free, no-obligation advice. All you need to do is:

● Call our advice line at whatever time is most convenient for you on 0800 073 8804
● Complete our claim online form, and we’ll give you a call
● Pop up to an online advisor using our live chat service

Helpful Resources

At the link below, you will find a comprehensive guide covering the process of claiming for clinical negligence against a GP:

A guide to claiming for clinical negligence against a GP

Other Useful Compensation Guides

How To Claim Against The NHS FAQs

How can I start my claim?

You can contact our team at any time to discuss how you could start an NHS medical negligence claim with one of our solicitors.

What can you sue the NHS for?

The primary cause for a claim is medical negligence. So, this could be substandard treatment, a misdiagnosis, a medication flaw or another situation unbecoming of the NHS.

How much does the NHS pay out in claims?

According to the 2021 NHS Resolution Annual Report, the NHS settled 15,674 claims in 2020/21; 6,872 of which were settled without damages being paid. Overall, figures showed £2,309 million being paid out across all indemnity schemes for clinical negligence.

How much could a claim be worth?

The value of a compensation claim against the NHS could depend on the severity of your injuries and any financial costs incurred as a result.

How long does it take to sue the NHS?

The majority of NHS clinical negligence claims reach a resolution within 2-3 years.

How do I write a complaint letter to the NHS?

The letter should clearly state the purpose of writing. And it should also include the full name, date of birth and NHS number of the patient writing the letter.

What is the time limit for making a medical negligence claim?

Anyone considering a claim has up to three years after the fact to state their intention.

What is not appropriate to include in a letter of complaint?

This covers any threats and/or irrational or unreasonable statements.

Thank you for reading our guide about how to claim against the NHS.

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      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.