Advice On Claims Against The NHS For Medical Negligence – NHS Claims Guide

By Marlon Madison. Last Updated 15th July 2024. Our guide examines claims against the NHS for medical negligence. We’ll cover important topics such as what is medical negligence? How medical negligence can occur, and what evidence you can use to support a potential claim.

You also see an explanation of how NHS negligence payouts are calculated under the two relevant heads of loss, with a compensation table for your reference. Another important area we cover in this guide is the time limit when claiming against the NHS, your claim must be made within the relevant limitation period or you will not be able to seek compensation.

Our final section is concerned with how our panel of solicitors can assist you when claiming compensation against the NHS,  with a particular focus on the No Win No Fee contract they offer their services under.

A doctor writes on a clipboard.


Get In Touch With Our Team

At UK Law, we can help to answer any questions you may have about the requirements for making valid NHS medical negligence claims. Are you looking specifically for advice on questions such as ‘how can I make successful claims against the NHS?.’

You’re more than welcome to get in touch with us for free specialist advice. You can contact us online through our live chat service or by filling in our claim online form. Alternatively, you can reach us on the phone by calling 020 3870 4868

Services And Information

  1. Who Could Make Claims Against The NHS For Medical Negligence?
  2. Calculating Compensation For Medical Negligence Claims
  3. NHS Resolution Compensation
  4. What Is The Time Limit For Claims Against The NHS For Medical Negligence?
  5. What Evidence Is Needed For Claims Against The NHS For Medical Negligence?
  6. Medical Negligence Solicitors – No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claims
  7. Contact Us For Help
  8. Other Information Relating To This NHS Compensation Payouts Guide

Who Could Make Claims Against The NHS For Medical Negligence?

You could be entitled to make a compensation claim against the NHS if you can evidence that you suffered harm following a breach in the duty of care that was owed to you. Medical negligence by the NHS can come in different forms and lead to various issues. You may suffer an injury or illness as a result of medical negligence. Or an existing injury or illness may be made worse as a consequence.

Reasons for starting a medical negligence claim against the NHS could include one of the following:

  • You contracted an infection while receiving treatment
  • Treatment was received late and your health deteriorated as a result
  • You were not warned about the risks of a particular treatment
  • An error was made while you were receiving surgical treatment
  • You received a treatment you did not consent to
  • Your condition was misdiagnosed and your health deteriorated as a result
  • You received the wrong medication for your condition
  • There were issues during childbirth that caused birth injury to the mother and/or child

Below, we give more examples of the potential types of NHS negligence. This list is not exhaustive.

GP negligence claims

A GP, just like any other NHS professional would owe you a duty of care. If they breach that duty of care by way of misdiagnosis of an illness or injury, missed diagnosis or failure to refer you when they should have, this could harm you. If you can prove that their negligence led to you suffering harm, you could be eligible for compensation.

Walk-in centre negligence claims

If you visit an NHS walk-in centre, for treatment for a minor injury or illness, you would expect a safe standard of care. If the medical professionals, whether doctors or nurses, were negligent, this could lead you to suffer harm.

Dental negligence claims

If a dentist missed the signs of oral cancer, it could lead you to suffer more harm than you would have. If so, you could claim dental negligence compensation for this.

Missed fracture negligence claims

You could also claim compensation if a fracture was missed by medical professional when it should have been spotted. In such cases, you would be able to claim for the undue harm you had suffered because of the missed fracture. This could be extra surgeries that you would not have had to have, further pain and suffering or long-term problems.

These are just a few examples.

NHS Compensation Payouts Guide – How To Know If It’s Negligence

These are just some examples of the possible reasons why someone would want to start a clinical negligence claim against the NHS. Regardless of the exact circumstances, there are a few key questions that need to be answered to determine if a claim against the NHS has a realistic chance of success.

  • Did your injury/illness occur due to the NHS breaching the duty of care it owed to you?
  • Can you prove that the negligent behaviour occurred?
  • Are you able to show that the negligent behaviour directly caused or contributed to the injury/illness you’ve suffered?

If you are able to answer yes to all of these questions above, then you likely have a strong case for claiming compensation. Feel free to contact UK Law now if you need more advice on NHS medical negligence claims.

Calculating Compensation For Medical Negligence Claims

You may be wondering how much compensation you could realistically receive when claiming against the NHS. The answer to this is that it depends on the circumstances of your case. 

Numerous factors are usually taken into account when compensation is being worked out for a medical negligence case. These can include the injuries and illnesses you’ve suffered from negligence, the severity of those issues and financial losses caused directly by the medical negligence.

If a medical professional’s actions led to you suffering from unnecessary harm, you could seek compensation for the physical, mental or emotional toll this took on you under general damages.

As illnesses can affect people in different ways, we cannot give you an exact estimate of what a payout in your medical negligence claim could look like. We can however provide you with examples of general damages from previous court claims to show you how an illness or injury can be valued.

Our figures come from a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines, which is the document that legal professionals may use to initially value your condition.

Compensation Table

Multiple Instances of Very Severe Harm In Addition to Significant Special DamagesVery SevereUp to £1,000,000+
ParalysisTetraplegia (a)£396,140 to £493,000
Brain DamageModerate (c)(i)£183,190 to £267,340
Neck InjuriesSevere (a)(ii)£80,240 to £159,770
Chest InjuriesPermanent chest, heart and/or lung damage from Traumatic Injury (b)£80,240 to £122,850
Injuries to Pelvis and HipsSevere (a)(iii)£47,810 to £64,070
Moderate (b)(i)£32,450 to £47,810
Other Arm InjuriesLess Severe Injury (c)£23,430 to £47,810
Shoulder InjuriesSerious (b)£15,580 to £23,430
Wrist InjuriesRecovery Within 12 Months (d)£7,420 to £12,630

The following sections go into more detail about how compensation in medical negligence payouts are calculated, and the other forms of compensation you can request. However, if you are looking for direct information about hospital negligence claims and how payouts can be assessed, then please reach out to a member of our free legal advice team.

Special Damages Explained

In addition to general damages like the examples above, your compensation may cover financial losses under special damages. Examples of losses your compensation could cover under special damages may include:

  • Money spent on medical care which treated injuries or illness caused by the negligence.
  • The cost of travel required to receive the necessary medical care.
  • Loss of earnings if the NHS negligence you suffered caused you to take unpaid time off work.

If you are considering a claim against the NHS, you can contact UK Law to receive a more precise estimate of your potential compensation.

NHS Resolution Compensation

When a medical negligence claim is made against the NHS, it is usually represented by a section of the organisation called NHS Resolution (previously called the NHS Litigation Authority). 

NHS Resolution (or NHSR for short) maintains a database of all NHS medical negligence claims. This includes potential claims and recorded incidents where legal action hasn’t been started yet, but the patient involved has indicated they are going to claim.

What Is The Time Limit For Claims Against The NHS For Medical Negligence? 

The general time limit regarding starting a medical negligence claim is 3 years from the date of the injury. This is stated in the Limitation Act 1980.

However, this time limit can be adjusted for various reasons. One of these reasons can be especially relevant to NHS medical negligence claims. This is because the effects of negligent behaviour by a medical professional are not always noticed right away. For example, you may have been misdiagnosed.

This could lead to you being prescribed the wrong medication. Taking this incorrect medication may only negatively impact your health after a certain length of time. Because of this, there may not be a definitive date you were injured. So, as an alternative, some claimants can use their “date of knowledge” as the start of their 3 -year time limit.

Child Injury Claims

The time limit can also work slightly differently if the injured party is under 18. Children cannot make a medical negligence claim themselves. For this reason, their time limit is suspended. That means there is no time limit for their claim to be made until they reach adulthood.

However, during this time, their claim can only be made for them by a litigation friend. This is an adult representative who must prove to the court that they have the child’s best interests at heart. It may be a parent or guardian, but this is not a requirement. It can also be another relative, a family friend, or even a legal professional.

The litigation friend is not awarded any NHS medical negligence payouts directly if the case is successful. Compensation would be transferred into a bank account that only the child can access, and only from their 18th birthday.

Withdrawals before this date can be applied for. However, a judge must be able to establish that the withdrawals are to the direct benefit of the child.

Should the injured child wish to make a claim themselves, they can do so. But, this is only possible once they turn 18, provided a claim has already been made. This is also the date that their 3-year time limit would begin if the claim has not already been made for them.

NHS Medical Negligence Claims On Behalf Of Those With A Reduced Mental Capacity

If you want to make a claim against the NHS for medical negligence, the time limit can also be suspended for those with a reduced mental capacity. The inability to make a claim for themselves could be due to their injuries, or it could be due to circumstances that predate the incident of medical negligence.

Regardless, their time limit will only begin in the event that their mental capacity returns to a point where they are deemed able to make a claim themselves. Before this time, the claim can only be made for them by a litigation friend.

What Evidence Is Needed For Claims Against The NHS For Medical Negligence?

You may be wondering, ‘is it possible to claim against the NHS?’. Compensation payouts can be awarded for medical negligence if sufficient evidence is provided. In order to receive medical negligence payouts, we would advise gathering the following evidence:

  • Medical records – copies of your medical records from hospitals or clinics, including your GP records, can offer concrete evidence of your injuries
  • Witness details – you should obtain the contact details of any witnesses so a solicitor can take a statement at a later date
  • Correspondence details – If you have made a formal complaint, they will have to record this complaint

Our panel of personal injury solicitors are experienced in successfully getting clients medical negligence payouts. Find out if you could make a claim with our team by completing the call back form at the top of this page and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Medical Negligence Solicitors – No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claims

You may wish to seek legal assistance for making a claim but are concerned about the costs. That’s why our panel of solicitors can work on the terms of an agreement known as No Win No Fee. Medical negligence solicitors that operate on this basis generally require no upfront fee to begin working on your case.

Furthermore, you’ll only need to pay your solicitor a success fee if they are able to help you secure compensation. The percentage that solicitors take is deducted from your compensation and is legally capped.

Our advisors can assess the eligibility of your medical negligence claim if you get in touch. Where there are sufficient grounds, you could be connected to a medical negligence solicitor from our panel who can begin your claim for NHS negligence.

Contact Us For Help

Are you looking for advice on questions such as ‘can I make an NHS medical negligence claim?’ At UK Law, we can support a wide range of medical negligence claims when there is evidence to support them. We can provide specialist advice for free in response to any queries you may have about claiming compensation. If you have questions after reading this guide which addresses popular queries including potential NHS compensation payouts for valid claims, you are welcome to contact us through one of the following methods:

Other Information Relating To This NHS Compensation Payouts Guide

Looking for more information that could prove useful when making a medical negligence claim? If so, you can make use of the resources linked to below:

A guide to medical negligence compensation claims

In this guide, we look into how different types of medical negligence claims work. This includes cases where you may wish to claim against a private healthcare provider, rather than the NHS.

Can you sue on behalf of someone else?

You may wish to start a medical negligence claim on behalf of someone else (like a child). If so, you can check out the guide linked above to learn more about representing another person when making a personal injury claim.

First aid negligence claims

This guide explains how you could receive compensation for injuries caused to you while administering first aid.

NHS Constitution – Interactive version

This PDF is an interactive version of the NHS constitution. This detailed document includes many hyperlinks which provide additional info on different aspects of the constitution.

General Medical Council- Duties of a Doctor

This outlines the duties that a good doctor is expected to adhere to in order to meet the expected standards.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) 

Your declining health caused by medical negligence might mean that you have to take time off work. This page could help you determine whether you could receive SSP if you’ve not been paid in full for the time you have had to take off.

If, after reading this guide on NHS compensation payouts and the questions people may ask regarding them, you still have any queries on this topic, you can contact UK Law for help. You can reach our advisors online or on the phone using the contact details featured within this guide.