How To Sue The NHS For Misdiagnosis Of Your Illness Or Injury

Welcome to our guide on how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis. If you’ve been misdiagnosed by the NHS because of negligence, you may be able to claim compensation. To succeed in making a medical negligence claim for misdiagnosis, you need to be able to prove that negligence on the part of a medical professional led to a worsening of your condition.

How to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis

How to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis guide

This guide will explain how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis. We will also look at what a misdiagnosis is and what your claim could cover. 

Furthermore, we will examine the different heads of claim that your settlement could include. In addition to this, we will examine the evidence that you could collect to support your claim.

To learn more about how to claim against the NHS for medical negligence, please read on. Alternatively, we can be contacted at any time using the details below. 

Get In Touch With Our Team 

Our advisors offer free legal advice 24/7 so, if you have any questions, such as whether you’re eligible to claim, please contact us using the details below at a time that works for you. 

  • Call us using 020 3870 4868
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  • Use our “Call back” feature to schedule a callback
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Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About How To Sue The NHS For Misdiagnosis
  2. What Is A Claim Against The NHS For Misdiagnosis?
  3. What Injuries And Illnesses Could Be Misdiagnosed?
  4. Why Does Misdiagnosis Occur?
  5. How Do You Sue The NHS For The Effects Of Misdiagnosis Of Your Illness Or Injury
  6. NHS Misdiagnosis Compensation Calculator 
  7. NHS Duty Of Care To Patients
  8. What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Claim?
  9. Following The NHS Complaints Process
  10. How Much Time Do I Have To Sue The NHS For Misdiagnosis?
  11. I Suffered NHS Misdiagnosis, What Should I Do?
  12. Sue The NHS For Misdiagnosis On A No Win No Fee Basis 
  13. Related Medical Claims Information
  14. FAQs About Suing The NHS For Misdiagnosis

Everything You Need To Know About How To Sue The NHS For Misdiagnosis

When you seek medical attention for a condition you are suffering from, you may receive a misdiagnosis. This is when a medical professional incorrectly diagnoses your condition. This could cause you harm or negatively impact your quality of life. 

For instance, if you are mistakenly diagnosed with a condition you do not have, then this treatment could be harmful to you. An example of this is that if you were mistakenly diagnosed with cancer when you do not have it, you could be given chemotherapy which makes you ill.

A crucial factor in being able to successfully make a medical negligence claim revolves around negligence. Some third parties, such as doctors and medical professionals, have a duty of care to all patients. As we’ll explain in more detail below, they have a standard level of care that they need to provide. Therefore, to make a successful claim, you need to prove three things:

  1. Firstly, that the third party you’re claiming against had a duty of care to you. 
  2. Secondly, that their actions broke this duty of care. 
  3. Lastly, that this breach in their duty of care led to your condition worsening. 

You can contact us using the details above to learn more about claiming for misdiagnosis. We offer free legal advice about medical negligence, are available 24/7 and can even provide you with a reliable compensation estimate over the phone in just a few minutes. 

What Is A Claim Against The NHS For Misdiagnosis?

When we go to the hospital or seek GP guidance, we trust that we will receive the correct standard of care for the condition we are suffering from. This means it can be difficult to know what to do if you have been harmed by a negligent misdiagnosis. 

In some cases, the correct diagnosis won’t come in time to improve your medical condition. A misdiagnosis of cancer, for instance, could potentially result in years being taken off your life. 

When you make a claim against the NHS for misdiagnosis, you’re claiming for the unnecessary physical and mental trauma caused to you by the negligence of the healthcare provider. You could also have suffered financial losses due to this, which you may also be able to claim for. 

The crux of a successful case is proving that the standard level of care was not met by the doctor or medical professionals involved. This is one of the ways that a knowledgeable, experienced medical negligence lawyer could help you; by building your case to give you the best chance of receiving compensation. 

What Injuries And Illnesses Could Be Misdiagnosed?

how to sue NHS for misdiagnosis statistics graph

Many types of illnesses or injuries could be misdiagnosed. The NHS has supplied data for 2020/21 regarding the number of clinical negligence claims reported within that year. In total, there were 10,816 new claims registered. 

As you can see, 12% of new claims were made concerning orthopaedic surgery, which relates to injuries caused to bones and joints. In comparison, 11% were made regarding emergency medicine, which are events that need immediate medical attention. 

This data has certain limitations because it doesn’t specifically break down the reason for the claims or the type of injuries involved. However, they do show that NHS negligence complaints can come from many different fields of medicine.  

To know more about how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis, please contact us using the details above. Our experienced advisors will be able to answer any medical negligence claim questions you have. They can also provide you with a reliable compensation estimate. Alternatively, please read on to learn about how these incidents can occur. 

Why Does Misdiagnosis Occur?

Medical professionals are required to provide the level of care acceptable for their profession. Sometimes, however, the standard of the care provided falls below this level, causing injury as a result. 

Things that could lead to misdiagnosis include:

  • Inexperienced workers – insufficient training could lead to mistakes from medical professionals. 
  • GP negligence – this could lead to you not being referred to the appropriate specialist for your condition.
  • Tests being misinterpreted or performed incorrectly- this could include scans like X-rays and MRI scans. 
  • The wrong tests being performed – this could result in medical professionals missing key information that could lead to the correct diagnosis. 
  • Not fully assessing all of your symptoms – If, for instance, a medical professional ignores some of your symptoms, that can lead to your condition worsening. 

If you experience any of the above, you may want to know how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis. However, not every instance of a condition being misdiagnosed will be grounds for a claim, even if your condition worsened because of this. 

This is because it is possible for complications to arise even when the care provided was of the right standard. For example, you may be exhibiting symptoms that differ wildly from those usually found in this condition. If this is the case, the doctor could fail to diagnose you even while giving the right level of care.

How Do You Sue The NHS For The Effects Of Misdiagnosis Of Your Illness Or Injury?

If you want to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis, it may be because medical negligence has greatly affected your health and, therefore, your quality of life. 

The impact that medical negligence can have on you will vary depending on the condition that has been misdiagnosed. However, we have included examples below:

  • If you’ve suffered a fractured arm that has been missed on an X-ray, the fracture may not heal correctly due to a splint or cast not being applied. Therefore, you could then need surgery to fix the issue. You may even be at increased risk of a condition like osteoporosis in the future. 
  • If an ectopic pregnancy is misdiagnosed, this could lead to infertility.
  • A misdiagnosis of cancer can lead to cancer spreading to other parts of your body. This could eventually be fatal if not treated in time. If your loved one has passed away due to medical negligence, you can look into claiming for this. 

To learn more about how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis, please call us using the above details. We understand that it could be a difficult time. We aim to make the claims process as stress-free for you as possible. If you’re eligible to claim, you could be connected with a lawyer from our panel. 

NHS Misdiagnosis Compensation Calculator 

Whether claiming with or without a medical negligence solicitor, there are two potential heads of claim in any medical misdiagnosis claim: 

  • Physical and psychological pain caused by the injury and the general decline in your quality of life can be claimed through general damages. 
  • Financial losses, meanwhile, are claimed through special damages

The Judicial College analyse previous general damages payouts, comparing them to the severity and extent of the injury. Because of this, they’ve been able to build reliable compensation brackets to give you a better idea of what injuries could be worth. We use these figures to ensure we provide you with as reliable an estimate as possible. 

Please see below a list of injuries and their relevant compensation brackets. The Judicial College provides these figures. They are the most up-to-date ones available from 2019. 

Area of InjuryAmount of CompensationDescription
Partial Hearing Loss £13,970 to £27,890Moderate tinnitus and noise-related hearing loss (NIHL) or NIHL alone or moderate to severe tinnitus.
Lung£65,710 to £91,350The injury in this bracket is for lung cancer that proves fatal in most cases; the symptoms of which may not be as painful as mesothelioma, but more long-lasting.
Reproductive System: MaleIn the region of £139,210The injury in this bracket relates to total loss of sexual function, sterility and total impotence in the case of a young man.
Illness/Damage To the Digestive System Resulting from Non-traumatic Injury£36,060 to £49,270This bracket relates to damage caused by a illness/damage caused by non-traumatic injury, such as food poisoning. It can cause severe toxicosis, causing acute pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever.
Bladder£21,970 to £29,380Injuries in this bracket relate to the bladder where there is almost a full recovery but where there is some fairly prolonged interference with natural function.
Neck£23,460 to £36,120Injuries in this bracket include dislocations or fractures causing severe immediate symptoms that may result in you needing spinal fusion.
Back£36,390 to £65,440Cases in this bracket include fractures or disc lesions or soft tissue injuries causing chronic conditions where, even with treatment, disabilites like continuing severe pain and discomfort are created.
Injuries to the Pelvis and Hips£11,820 to £24,950This bracket relates to cases that involve surgery, such as hip replacement.
ElbowUp to £11,820Elbow injuries that relate to this bracket include tennis elbow syndrome, lacerations and simple fractures.
Foot£39,390 to £65,710Injuries in this bracket include fractures to both heels or feet causing restrictions to movements or leading to permanent or considerable pain.

Special damages, on the other hand, relate to the financial losses suffered by the injury. This means you can claim for things like:

  • Loss of future earnings
  • Travel costs
  • Loss of earnings
  • Care costs, such as needing a nurse or care bed. 

We completely understand if you would prefer a compensation estimate related to your situation. For us to do this, please get in touch. Our advisors are available 24/7, offer free legal advice and can provide you with a reliable estimate in just a few minutes.  

NHS Duty Of Care To Patients

The General Medical Council are the independent regulator for UK doctors. They have produced a code of conduct for doctors to follow. Doctors in the UK must:

  1. Be selfless in acting for the public interest
  2. Have integrity in their work
  3. Show that they are objective and make decisions impartially and fairly based on merit with the evidence provided. 
  4. Be accountable for their own decisions. 
  5. Be open and transparent, meaning that they work with patients and other staff members to deliver the best outcome possible. 
  6. Demonstrate honesty.
  7. Show leadership. 

Once you feel informed about how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis, you might be wondering how the courts determine whether a doctor’s actions were negligent. For medical negligence claims, the medical professional’s actions are assessed by their peers. This is called the Bolam Test. 

This is called the Bolam Test. Here, a panel of the medical professional’s peers will be asked whether or not the standard of care was acceptable. If not, the doctor would be considered negligent.

The four principles of medical negligence

In order to show that you have been harmed by medical negligence, your case needs to meet four conditions or principles. These are:

  • Duty – All doctors have a duty of care to provide patients with the right level of care. 
  • Dereliction – You would need to show that the actions performed by the medical professional go outside of the agreed standards of practice. 
  • Damages – In order to claim, you need to show that you were harmed by the treatment you received. It’s not enough that your doctor was negligent; you need to have been left worse off than you would have been if you’d gotten the right level of care. 
  • Direct causation – Making a claim depends on the negligence you experienced, leading directly to the ill-effects you have experienced. This can be the most difficult aspect of a medical negligence claim. For this reason, we recommend seeking out the services of a medical negligence solicitor. 

Trust in GP’s

how to sue NHS for misdiagnosis statistics graph

The NHS also provides statistics relating to GPs. The above compares the number of fully qualified GPs to practising GPs across select age ranges in the UK in August 2021. As you can see, in the age bracket 30 to 34, there are 7,000 total GPs, but only 4,025 of which are fully qualified. This information could affect the trust that people have in their General Practitioners. 

Please contact us today for free legal advice. We can assess your situation and let you know in just a few minutes if you’ll be able to claim. Get in touch using the details above if you have any claim queries whatsoever. 

What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Claim?

The crucial aspect of claiming for NHS misdiagnosis is providing evidence that shows your quality of life has been impacted. Potential evidence includes:

  • Medical reports. As part of your claim, you will usually be invited to an independent medical expert. The report from this will be used to value your claim. 
  • A list of medicine or prescriptions
  • A detailed timeline of your treatment to illustrate how your condition has worsened due to the NHS misdiagnosis

The more evidence you can use to show the impact that the misdiagnosis has had on you, the more chance you have of a potential settlement award fully reflecting your condition. 

In learning how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis, you may also want to know the evidence you need to claim for special damages. You can prove the financial losses you have experienced by providing receipts, invoices and bank statements. 

Following The NHS Complaints Process

If you want to complain to the NHS, there are several stages of the complaints process

  1. You can begin by complaining to your doctor or the medical professional directly. 
  2. Most hospitals provide a Patient and Advice Liasion Service (PALS). You can speak to a PALS member informally. They can work with the department involved to solve the issue. 
  3. If you’re thinking about complaining, a member of the independent NHS Complaints Advocacy service can help. They can attend meetings and review information you’ve been given as part of the complaints process. Your local council can make you aware of who the advocacy provider in your area is. 
  4. You can either complain to the NHS provider directly or the commissioner of the service provider. 

Complaints should normally be made within twelve months of the incident or of you becoming aware of the issue. You can either complain verbally, by email or over the phone.

The timeframe for the complaint resolution depends on the extent of the issue. You should, however, be provided with an acknowledgement of the complaint within three working days of them receiving it.  

Why make a complaint to the Ombudsman?

If you’re unhappy about the resolution of an NHS complaint, you can always refer to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. They independently review the complaint and come to a final decision. If the Ombudsman side in your favour, they could recommend that the NHS make changes so the same error doesn’t happen again and can ask them to send you a formal apology letter. 

You don’t need to complain through the Ombudsman to make a medical negligence claim against the NHS. You do, however, need to complain directly to the NHS first before going to the Ombudsman. 

How Much Time Do I Have To Sue The NHS For Misdiagnosis?

The Limitation Act 1980 clarifies how long you have to start a medical negligence claim. In a  standard case, you have three years to start a claim. This can either run from the date of the incident or the date that you became aware that your symptoms were caused by negligence.

However, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule: 

  1. If you’ve suffered an illness or injury due to NHS negligence as a child, you have three years from the date of your eighteenth birthday to begin the claim. Before this, the time limit is suspended, and a litigation friend can claim on your behalf. 
  2. If someone doesn’t have the mental capacity to claim, the medical negligence claims time limit is suspended indefinitely. A litigation friend can claim on behalf of them. In the event that they recover, they will have three years to start their own claim if one has not already been made. 

If you would like to know more about the time limits that apply to making a claim, or if you would just like more general information on how to sue NHS for misdiagnosis, speak to our team today.

I Suffered NHS Misdiagnosis, What Should I Do?

An important part of how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis is providing sufficient evidence to show that the misdiagnosis has led to your condition worsening. Therefore, if you want to claim, doing the below actions could give you a greater chance of receiving the compensation you deserve. 

  1. Collect any medical evidence and reports from doctors and medical professionals. 
  2. Collect other evidence, such as a record of the prescriptions and treatment provided to you. 
  3. Look into using a specialised UK lawyer. A lawyer or medical negligence solicitor that specialises in the relevant field could provide you with the guidance needed to receive compensation. This could help you get more money for your claim. 

For more information on the evidence you could provide to support your claim, get in touch with our team today. You could be connected with a medical negligence lawyer from our panel.

Sue The NHS For Misdiagnosis On A No Win No Fee Basis 

You may be wondering, “what are the benefits of using lawyers on a No Win No Fee basis?” Any medical negligence lawyer you use through us can provide their services with this kind of agreement.

The benefits that this can offer when seeking legal representation include:

  • Not having to pay legal fees, either upfront or during the claims process. 
  • Not having to pay legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful. 
  • Your claim is funded by a small, legally capped percentage of your compensation, which is taken if you have a successful claim. 

If you would like to be connected with a No Win No lawyer, why not speak with our team today? One of our advisors will be happy to offer you free legal advice.

Related Medical Claims Information

For more useful information, please use the links below. 

If you’re unsure if you’ve broken a bone and would like guidance, please refer to the NHS website. 

Do you want to learn more about claiming for dental negligence? If so, please view this webpage. 

For more information about the time limit when making medical negligence claims, please view this page on our website. 

View this page to learn more about how to report a doctor for medical negligence. 

Do you want to see if you can claim for an operation gone wrong? If so, please read this page. 

FAQs About Suing The NHS For Misdiagnosis

For answers to frequently asked questions about how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis, please read below. 

What are NHS never events?

Never events are events that should always be preventable if the proper procedures are followed. This includes, for example, incidents like an operation in which the wrong body part was removed. 

Can you sue NHS for the wrong diagnosis?

If you’re able to prove that negligence led to you being misdiagnosed, you may be able to receive compensation. You will also need to show that the misdiagnosis directly caused your condition to get worse than it would have if you’d been diagnosed correctly. 

Can you sue the NHS for emotional distress? 

Yes, if you’ve suffered from health issues like anxiety, PTSD or emotional trauma due to a misdiagnosis, you may be able to claim.

Thank you for reading our guide on how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis.

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