Successful Negligence Claims Against the NHS

In this guide, we will look at the process of making claims against the NHS for harm caused by medical negligence. Have you experienced clinical negligence while seeking medical attention from an NHS service? Has this resulted in a medical misdiagnosis or other harm? If so, this guide will give you the information you need about pursuing compensation.


Claims against the NHS guide

If you have suffered NHS medical negligence, you may have some questions, such as:

  • How do I make a claim against the NHS?
  • What can a claim against the NHS cover?
  • What steps should I take if I want to sue the NHS for negligence?

Our advisors can provide free legal advice and help when you call today. 

Get In Touch With Our Team 

If you have suffered NHS negligence, our advisers are here to help. Get in contact with our team today by:

One of our advisors can discuss your case with you and offer free legal advice surrounding your medical negligence claim. They may be able to forward you to our expert panel of No Win No Fee solicitors provided you have a valid case.

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Claims Against The NHS
  2. What Are Claims Against The NHS?
  3. What Duty Of Care Does The NHS Owe Patients?
  4. Who Can Claim For Clinical Negligence By The NHS?
  5. Calculating Compensation Claims Against The NHS
  6. How To Successfully Claim For Negligence By A GP
  7. How To Successfully Claim For Negligence By A Hospital
  8. How To Successfully Claim For Negligence By AN NHS Trust
  9. How To Prove You Were Harmed By NHS Medical Negligence
  10. How Much Time Do I Have To Claim Against The NHS
  11. I Suffered NHS Medical Negligence, What Should I Do?
  12. Do You Handle Claims Against The NHS On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  13. Other Information
  14. FAQs About Successful Claims Against The NHS

Everything You Need To Know About Claims Against The NHS

This article will explore how to make a claim against the NHS, whilst also exploring the duty of care the NHS owes patients. We will also look at some examples of how clinical negligence can occur and the effects that this can have on patients. 

Additionally, this guide will include figures illustrating how much compensation you could receive in a medical negligence claim. You might also be wondering what you can do to give your claim the best chance of success; if this is the case, we’ve included information on what evidence you should provide when making a claim that you may find useful. 

There will also be a section explaining the medical negligence claims time limit, as you only have a certain amount of time in which to start a claim for harm caused by medical negligence. Finally, we will address the topic of No Win No Fee agreements, including the advantages that they offer and what exactly this means for your claim. 

For more information and guidance, contact our team of advisers today.

What Are Claims Against The NHS?

If you’ve suffered harm due to medical negligence, you may be able to make a claim. All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care.

This means that any actions they take towards you and your treatment must meet a minimum standard of care, as outlined by the General Medical Council (GMC). They need to act in a way that avoids their patients from experiencing unnecessary harm. 

If the care you receive deviates from this standard, and you suffer harm as a result, you could be eligible to claim. This applies to NHS healthcare workers, but also those who work for privately-run providers.

claims against the NHS

The above graph uses statistics from the NHS Resolution annual report. It shows the number of settled claims against the NHS in the year 2020/21 by speciality. As you can see, the area of medicine with the highest number of settled claims was emergency medicine with 1,366. 

What Duty Of Care Does The NHS Owe Patients?

NHS professionals owe a duty of care to the patients they treat and care for. They need to provide a minimum standard of care and should act in a way that prevents their patients from being injured unnecessarily. 

A good point of reference for this is the NHS Constitution. This document outlines your rights as a patient, as well as the values and principles that guide the NHS.

Not every instance of harm will be an example of medical negligence and, therefore, the grounds for a claim. In some instances, a medical professional must cause you harm in order to provide this standard of care. If this is the case, you would not be able to claim.

An example of this is chemotherapy. If you’re suffering from cancer, then this is a treatment you may be offered. Chemotherapy can make you feel ill and fatigued. However, you would not be able to claim compensation for this harm, because administering chemotherapy is necessary for your health.

For more information on the circumstances in which claims against the NHS may be made, speak with an advisor today.

Who Can Claim For Clinical Negligence By The NHS?

To make negligence claims against the NHS, you must be able to prove that you have suffered harm due to medical negligence. If a doctor has breached the duty of care they owe you, but this has not had any negative effects on your health, you wouldn’t be able to claim. 

As we’ve already mentioned, not all instances of harm will be examples of negligence. In some cases, a doctor will have to cause you harm in the course of your treatment.

However, there are other circumstances where you are harmed in a way that isn’t necessary to your health, but where you’re still not able to claim. This is because complications can sometimes arise even when doctors, nurses and surgeons are adhering to the duty of care that they owe patients.

For example, you might be given a new drug that you have never taken before to treat a condition that you have. As a result, you have an allergic reaction. This causes you harm, but the doctor did not breach the duty of care that they owed you because they had no way of knowing about your allergies. As a result, you would not be able to claim.

Our advisors can tell you if you have a valid claim and can advise you on what to do next. Get in touch today by following the information at the top of the screen.

Calculating Compensation Claims Against The NHS 

We have compiled a compensation table to illustrate how much money you could receive for injuries you could suffer due to NHS negligence. These figures are based on the Judicial College Guidelines, which is a document that provides a list of injuries and health effects alongside corresponding guideline compensation brackets

It’s often used by legal professionals to help value claims. However, these are only guidelines and not guarantees; your actual settlement amount will vary.

Injury: Severity: Notes: Compensation:
Mental Anguish Severe-Mild Fear of impending death £4,380
Psychiatric Damage Generally (a) Severe Significant effect on the individual’s capacity to cope with everyday life. £51,460 – £108,620
Psychiatric Damage Generally (c) Moderate Effect on an individual’s ability to cope with day-to-day life and relationships, but with some improvement over time. £5,500 – £17,900
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (a) Severe Permanent effects preventing individuals from working. All aspects of life significantly affected. £56,180 – £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (c) Moderate Injured person mostly recovered and lasting effects are not severely debilitating. £7,680 – £21,730
Brain Damage (a) Very Severe Need for nursing care, little response to environment, surroundings, or language. £264,650 to £379,100
Total Blindness (b) N/A Total loss of sight in both eyes. In the region of £252,180
Neck Injuries (a) Severe Little to no movement and suffering frequent headaches. Incomplete Paraplegia or permanent spastic quadriparesis. In the region of £139,210
Kidney Injuries (a) N/A Loss of or severe damage to both kidneys. £158,970 to £197,480
Bladder Injuries (b) N/A Complete loss of control and natural function. Up to £132,040
Below-knee Amputation of One Leg (iv) N/A Amputation of leg below the knee. £91,950 to £124,800

General damages is the part of your settlement that compensates for the physical and mental pain and suffering you’ve endured. This is the part of your claim illustrated in the table above. 

Additionally, some people are eligible to receive special damages compensation. Special damages compensate you for the financial impact the injury has had on your life. 

Examples of special damages can include loss of income, additional care, prescriptions/medications, and travel costs. You must provide evidence when claiming special damages; for example, you could use a payslip to show how much you usually earn if you’ve had to take time off work because of your injuries. 

For a free estimation of what your claim could be worth, contact our team of advisers today. If you have a valid claim, you could be connected with one of the solicitors on our panel with experience in handling claims against the NHS.

How To Successfully Claim For Negligence By A GP

A GP is a doctor who often works outside of a hospital in a doctor’s surgery or general practice. GPs provide standard, generalised healthcare, usually to a specific area. However, you can register with a GP outside of the area you live in if you need to. 

If you’ve been harmed by the negligence of a GP who was providing NHS services, then your compensation claim may be made to the NHS. NHS Resolution have a clinical negligence scheme specifically for GP claims called the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice

Some examples of how medical negligence by a GP could cause harm include:

  • Misdiagnosis- for example, where you show clear signs of an illness or condition and these are assumed to be something else by your doctor
  • Failure to review medication- some medication should be reviewed periodically, for example, your blood pressure may need to be checked regularly. If this is not done and your health is affected, you could claim. 
  • Failure to refer a patient to a specialist- This may be because of a misdiagnosis caused by negligence, or because the doctor’s breach of duty of care means that they assume your condition is less serious than it actually is. 
  • Incorrect medication prescriptions- For example, your doctor might prescribe you the wrong dosage of medication because of a lapse in memory, and this harms your health.

Get in touch with our team of advisers who can discuss your case in more detail. They can then refer you on to our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors who can help you begin your claim provided you have a valid case. 

How To Successfully Claim For Negligence By A Hospital

There are a variety of ways a medical professional in an NHS hospital could breach their duty of care. But, you must be able to prove that the harm done to you occurred as a direct result of this breach to make a claim, as with all settings in which medical negligence could occur.

Some examples of how negligence can contribute to harm can include:

  • Hospital-acquired infections: An example of how negligence can lead to a hospital-acquired infection could be if a medical professional did not follow correct hygiene procedures. Hospital-acquired infections can include diseases like MRSA, C. difficile infections, and pneumonia.
  • Wrong-site surgery: Wrong-site surgery is an example of an NHS ‘never event.’ This can include surgery on the wrong area or amputation of the wrong limb. The patient will then require additional surgery.
  • Missed diagnosis: A missed diagnosis due to negligence can lead to someone’s condition or illness deteriorating, as they aren’t receiving the proper care and treatment they need.

These three examples of NHS negligence could have a serious impact on your physical and mental health and well-being. If you have suffered any of these due to a hospital’s negligence, get in touch with our team of advisers who can help you begin your medical negligence claims process.

How To Successfully Claim For Negligence By An NHS Trust

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) commission the majority of the community NHS services and hospitals in local areas. CCGs decide which services are needed in different places and make sure that they are available.

A large number of GP surgeries are co-commissioned with CCGs. This means CCGs are often responsible for the care provided by an NHS trust.

All GP surgeries belong to a CCG, as well as other health professionals (such as nurses). If you have experienced medical negligence by the NHS and would like to file a medical negligence claim, you could make a claim against a CCG and/or an NHS trust.

CCGs commission services such as: 

  • Planned hospital care
  • Emergency Care
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Learning Disability and Mental Health Services
  • Community health services

If you would like to make negligence claims against the NHS, or an NHS trust/CCG, you can get in contact with our legal advisers who can provide advice regarding your situation. If your claim is strong enough, they can forward you to our panel of lawyers, where a No Win No Fee solicitor can help begin your claim.

How To Prove You Were Harmed By NHS Medical Negligence

This section will explain how you can prove that you were harmed due to NHS medical negligence. To make negligence claims against the NHS, you must provide evidence to prove a medical professional breached their duty of care, and that you suffered harm as a direct result. 

Your case may be put to something called the Bolam test. In this test, a group of professionals in the field relevant to your case will evaluate the actions you suspect to be negligent. They will then provide a report of their findings, illustrating if they find the actions to be reasonable, or negligent.

If you choose to hire a solicitor, they can help you gather evidence to help strengthen your claim. This could be in the form of medical records to show a medical misdiagnosis, lack of medication, or ignored symptoms.

For example, if you can prove you were misdiagnosed and therefore didn’t receive the correct treatment for your injury by providing official records of your treatment, this can help strengthen your claim. 

If you can prove that you suffered harm as a result of medical negligence, contact our advisers today. They can offer free legal advice and further guidance on proving medical negligence.

How Much Time Do I Have To Claim Against The NHS

According to the Limitation Act 1980, there is generally a three-year time limit to starting negligence claims against the NHS. This is three years from when the duty of care was breached or three years from when you discovered your condition was caused by clinical negligence. 

If you are under 18, the three-year time limit begins from your 18th birthday. Alternatively, someone else can claim on your behalf as your litigation friend before you turn 18.

Similarly, if you are mentally incapacitated, the time limit is frozen. If you recover, the time limit will begin if you regain the appropriate capacities. Otherwise, someone else can claim on your behalf as your litigation friend.

Get in contact with our team of advisers today to discuss your claim further and learn more about the time limits for making a medical negligence claim.

I Suffered NHS Medical Negligence, What Should I Do?

The first thing you should do if you have suffered clinical negligence is to seek medical care for your injuries or illnesses. This is important for your own wellbeing, but any medical records or notes documenting your worsening condition or the harm done can be used as evidence.

Furthermore, you should also collect financial evidence to help aid any special damages claims you wish to make. For example, this could include travel receipts or payslips to prove a loss of earnings.

Once our advisers have analysed your case and assessed whether it is strong enough, they may connect you with our panel of solicitors. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to receive free legal advice. 

Do You Handle Claims Against The NHS On A No Win No Fee Basis? 

Once you have discussed your case with our friendly team of advisers, you may be able to enter into a No Win No Fee agreement with one of our panel of solicitors. No Win No Fee agreements (also known as conditional fee agreements) allow you to hire legal representation with minimised financial risk, as there are no upfront or ongoing fees to pay.

If your case fails, you don’t have to pay any of your solicitor’s fees. If your case succeeds, your solicitor will take a success fee. This fee consists of a percentage of your award, which has a legal cap to ensure you get the majority of your compensation.

We suggest you contact us by:

  • Giving us a call on 020 3870 4868
  • Beginning your claim online. An adviser will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • Using the live chat feature at the bottom of the screen.

Other Information

What Could Be Classed As Medical Negligence In The UK?: This article will explain what counts as medical negligence in the UK. It also provides guidance on pursuing a claim with a No Win No Fee solicitor.

Medical Negligence Compensation Claims – Our article provides further information on how to make a medical negligence claim for medical negligence. 

Advice On Claims Against The NHS: This article provides further guidance on pursuing a claim against the NHS.

When to call 999: This NHS guide provides help and guidance on when to contact the emergency services.

NICE: The National Institute For Health and Care Excellence provides help and guidelines for medical professionals.

CQC: The Care Quality Commission can provide more information and guidance on making a complaint against a care service or provider.

FAQs About Successful Claims Against The NHS

How successful are medical negligence claims?
If you provide a sufficient amount of evidence to prove causation, your medical negligence claim has a higher chance of being successful.

What is the average payout for medical negligence UK?
Payouts for medical negligence in the UK vary on a case-by-case basis. Speak with one of our advisors for an assessment of your claim. 

Can you get compensation from the NHS?
If you can prove that you have suffered harm due to medical negligence on the part of the NHS, you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation.

How long does a claim against the NHS take?
The time it takes to claim can vary between cases, as some are more complex than others. Speak to one of our advisers to find out more.

For more information on making claims against the NHS, speak with a member of our team today.

Writer HL

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