How To Make A Compensation Claim Against The NHS

Medical Negligence Cases Against The NHS Explained

In the UK, we are very lucky to have such a great healthcare system. In most cases, patients receive excellent treatment, for free, which resolves or manages their underlying condition. There are times though when things don’t go according to plan. In these cases, if you suffer due to the negligence of NHS staff, you could be eligible for compensation. Therefore, in this article, we’ll explain how to make a compensation claim against the NHS.

How to make a compensation claim against the NHS guide

How to make a compensation claim against the NHS guide

Advice.co.uk is here to support you if you want to know more about claiming. Our team of specialist advisors provide a no-obligation telephone consultation in which you can explain what happened. After the review, you’ll be given free legal advice on your claim options.

Additionally, if your claim is suitable, we could connect you with a medical negligence lawyer from our panel. Should they accept your claim, it will be handled on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you want to start the claims process right away, why not call us on 0161 696 9685 today? If you would like to know more about NHS negligence claims before calling, please continue reading.

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A Guide On How To Make A Compensation Claim Against The NHS

In this article, we are going to explain how to make a compensation claim against the NHS. While thousands of patients receive excellent treatment each year, others suffer injuries that could’ve been avoided. If you have evidence that this has happened to you and you’ve suffered as a result, you could be entitled to start a claim. Therefore, we’ll look at why you might be entitled to claim, what you could claim for and how much compensation could be payable.

Claims might possible against any medical professional who has breached their duty of care and caused you to suffer an avoidable injury. This can include nurses, surgeons, doctors, anaesthetists, paediatricians and dentists. Your claim might be against an individual, a hospital, an NHS trust or other entities. You needn’t worry too much about that at this stage. If you work with a medical negligence lawyer from our panel, they’ll help you decide who to claim against.

It’s worth noting that there is a time limit for compensation claims of this nature. It is a 3-year period. This will either begin from the date you were injured or from when you obtained knowledge that your injury was at least partially caused by the negligence of a practitioner.

While that does seem like a long time, we would advise you to seek free legal advice from our team as soon as possible. That’s because there are a number of tasks your lawyer will need to do before submitting your claim.

Once you have completed this guide, please free to get in touch. Our advisors will answer as many questions as they can and review your options for free. If the claim seems to be viable, they could refer you to a specialist clinical negligence lawyer from our panel.

How Much Compensation Do You Get For Clinical Negligence?

OK, before we explain how to make a compensation claim against the NHS, we’ll consider compensation amounts. It would be impossible to list every different injury in this section, so we’ve provided a condensed list in the table below. When you call to discuss your case, we should be able to explain the amount you could receive as compensation.

Compensation paid to cover pain, suffering and loss of amenity is called general damages. Insurers, lawyers and other legal professionals use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to set general damages amounts. Therefore, our table contains data from the latest figures from the JCG. Importantly, you may be entitled to additional compensation which we’ll explain in the next section.

Type of InjurySeveritySettlement RangeAdditional Comments
Non-traumatic InjurySerious£8,950 to £18,020Symptoms will be serious but short-lived. They include vomiting, fever and diarrhoea that will last for up to four weeks. Additional disturbance to bowel function may continue for a couple of years.
KidneyPermanent£158,970 to £197,480This category covers the loss of both kidneys or serious and permanent damage to both.
KidneySeriousUp to £60,050Where there is total loss of kidney function or where there is serious risk of future urinary tract infections.
BowelsUp to £140,870This category covers cases where there is reliance on colostomy due to total loss of natural function. Age is a factor in determining the exact settlement figure.
BladderSerious£60,050 to £75,010This category applies where there is serious impairment, pain and incontinence.
SpleenLoss£19,510 to £24,680Where the loss of the spleen result in a continuous risk of internal disorders and infections due to the damaged immune system.

The most important factor that determines the compensation level is the severity of your injuries. Therefore, you’ll need evidence that shows this. During the claims process, a medical assessment will be needed. If you work with a lawyer from our panel, your assessment will usually be arranged locally.

During the appointment, you will be assessed by an independent medical specialist. They will examine any physical symptoms and question you about the impact of your injuries. Your medical records may also be referred to. Once the meeting has concluded, the specialist will document their findings and send a report to your lawyer.

How Special Damages For Medical Negligence May Be Calculated

The part of your claim that covers expenses and financial losses that result from your injuries is called special damages. They are designed to return you to the same financial position as you were in before the medical negligence occurred. Each claim will vary, but you could claim for:

  • Care costs. If you require support with daily activities while you recover, you could claim back any associated costs. If a professional carer was needed, you could claim back their fees. Alternatively, an hourly rate could be calculated to cover the time a loved one spent looking after you.
  • Travel costs. These could include parking fees, public transport fares or fuel costs incurred due to medical appointments.
  • Medical expenses. While remedial treatment is usually free on the NHS, you might still need to claim back some medical costs. For example, you might need to pay for prescriptions or treatments not available on the NHS.
  • Lost income. Time off work can be expensive. If you require time off to recover or attend medical appointments, you could ask for any lost earnings to be repaid.
  • Future loss of earnings. This category is used for more serious cases. If your ability to work is negatively impacted by your injuries, you could claim for future lost income. Age, salary and job prospects are all factors that will be considered.
  • Vehicle or home adaptations. Finally, claimants who are left disabled as a result of medical negligence might need to make changes to help them cope. In some cases, the cost of those changes could be added to their claim.

To support a special damages claim, please collate all receipts, invoices, wage slips and bank statements that show your losses. And to find out what else you can include within a claim, please get in touch.

What Is An NHS Negligence Compensation Claim?

There are three key things that need to be proven in an NHS medical negligence claim:

  • Duty of Care
  • Breach of Duty (fault or negligence)
    This means that you received a standard of care that was below the level that you could reasonably expect of other competent healthcare professionals in the same scenario.
  • Causation (avoidable harm)
    This is where you need to prove that any injury or illness was caused as a result of the negligent treatment.

There are many different types of medical negligence claims that could be made, including:

  • Avoidable birth injury claims.
  • Misdiagnosis claims.
  • Prescription error claims.
  • Surgical error claims.
  • Failure to refer claims. 

Whatever type of claim you have, we could support you. Our team provides a free assessment of any case along with free legal advice. Please call the number at the top of the page today if you’d like to talk about your options.

Legal And Professional Duties Of Care Owed By The NHS

While medical professionals try their hardest to keep patients safe, they also have a legal duty to as well. That means they must conduct their duties to the standard expected of such practitioners. If they breach their duty of care, they could be held liable for any suffering caused.

There are a couple of ways breaches of duty of care can be tested. The first is called the Bolam test. This involves proving that the professional failed to act in the same way as a responsible group of professionals in the same field would have done. If the group believe the medical professional’s actions were acceptable, then they wouldn’t have breached their legal duty of care.

Another method involves the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). They provide a set of guidelines that can be used for comparison purposes. If the medical professional acts against these recommendations, they could be found to have breached their duty of care.

If you’d like a free review of your case to see if you could claim compensation, please call our specialists today.

Check You Are Eligible To Make A Claim Against The NHS

In this section, we’re going to provide some practical steps to show you how to make a compensation claim against the NHS. Then we’ll move on to show you how you try to prove what happened.

Did The NHS Breach Its Duty Of Care?

Firstly, you will need to show that the NHS breached its duty of care. The Bolam test mentioned earlier can be used to prove this. Essentially, a responsible body of clinical opinion would need to say whether they would have acted differently or the same as the defendant given the same set of circumstances.

What Is An NHS Never Event?

The next thing you could check is whether an NHS Never Event has taken place. These are a set of serious incidents which are completely avoidable. That is the case because the NHS has defined guidelines and safety measures to prevent them from happening. Never Events include:

  • Wrong-site surgery (where the left lung is removed instead of the right for instance).
  • Administering medicine via the wrong route.
  • Using the wrong prosthesis or implant.
  • Retained foreign objects post-procedure.

Proving NHS Negligence

To make a successful compensation claim against the NHS, you will need to prove both breach of duty and causation. That means you can’t simply claim because a doctor or surgeon does something wrong. Their neglect must cause you to suffer in some way. As such, you’ll need evidence to prove that’s the case.

If we appoint a medical negligence lawyer from our panel to your case, they’ll obtain copies of your medical records. They’ll then review these before sending them to an independent medical specialist for further analysis. The report they subsequently produce could be used as evidence to substantiate your allegations. If liability is accepted by the NHS for both breach of duty and causation, your lawyer will move on to trying to agree on a settlement figure for you.

Steps To Take To Claim For NHS Medical Negligence

If you’re considering making a compensation claim for suffering caused by negligent NHS treatment, you could contact Advice.co.uk. Our specialists will listen to what’s happened, review your evidence and explain your options. If it appears that your case could result in a successful compensation claim, it may be passed to a medical negligence lawyer on our panel.

Whilst that might lead to a compensation payment, it likely won’t result in an apology. Additionally, there’s no guarantee that steps will be taken to prevent the same mistake from happening again. For that to happen, you’ll need to make an official complaint on top of your claim.

NHS Negligence Complaints

If your claim is accepted, your lawyer will be able to advise on the merits of making a formal NHS complaint. For more information, please read the official NHS complaints procedure.

How To Make A GP Negligence Claim

GPs do an extraordinary job. In little under 10-minutes, they will often listen to the patient’s query, diagnose the problem and arrange treatment. On occasion, though, mistakes do happen. When they do, if they cause suffering, you could claim against the GP. For example, you could claim for:

  • Being prescribed the wrong medication.
  • Not being sent for additional tests by a specialist.
  • Having the wrong condition diagnosed.

The types of suffering you could claim for will vary from case to case. For example, if you’re given the wrong medication, you could suffer an adverse reaction. Similarly, a misdiagnosis might mean your underlying condition worsens and you suffer as a result.

If you would like free legal advice on claiming against an NHS GP, please call in today. Our advisors will look at what treatment you received and how you suffered. They will then explain your legal options.

Making A Hospital Negligence Claim

Whether you are in a hospital for emergency or planned treatment, you are owed a duty of care by the medical professional who treats you. If they are negligent, and you are harmed as a result, we could help you begin a compensation claim.

Examples of potential NHS hospital negligence that could entitle you to claim include:

  • Hospital borne infections.
  • Surgical errors.
  • Avoidable birth injuries.
  • Having the wrong medication dispensed.
  • Anaesthetic mistakes.
  • Misdiagnosis of your illness or injury.
  • Being given incorrect medical advice.

Generally, your claim will be against the hospital rather than the individual who was negligent.

Our team is here to answer any questions you may have and to consider the merits of your claim. Remember, if your claim is accepted, a lawyer from our panel will represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.

How To Make An NHS Trust Negligence Claim

In addition to claiming against hospitals or medical professionals, your claim could be against the body that is responsible for them. This could include a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) or an NHS Trust.

You don’t need to be too concerned with this though. The medical negligence lawyers on our panel will use their legal expertise to assess your claim thoroughly. Once done, they will deduce who the claim needs to be directed at.

Let us know about how you’ve been affected by NHS negligence today and we’ll let you know if you could be entitled to compensation. Our legal advice is free even if you don’t go on to start a compensation claim.

No Win No Fee Compensation Claim Against The NHS

The worry of losing money is something that stops people from making compensation claims. However, to reduce that worry, our panel of lawyers offer a No Win No Fee service for medical negligence claims they take on. That allows you access to their legal expertise with reduced financial risks.

When you are connected with a lawyer from our panel, they’ll need to verify the merits of your claim. If you’re both happy to continue, you’ll be given a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign. This is the formal name for a No Win No Fee agreement. The CFA explains the circumstances that need to be met before the lawyer is paid. Additionally, it will show you that:

  • The claim can begin quickly as no fees are charged upfront.
  • You won’t be billed for the lawyer’s work during the case.
  • If the claim does have a positive outcome, you won’t have to pay lawyer’s fees at all.

Should the claim be won and you receive compensation, your lawyer will deduct a small percentage of your compensation to cover the cost of their work. This is called a success fee. In the CFA, you’ll find the success fee percentage, which is legally capped, so you’ll know how much will be paid before you agree to work with the lawyer.

We can check if you could claim on a No Win No Fee basis if you call our team today.

Contact Us

Hopefully, you now understand how to make a compensation claim against the NHS. If that’s true, and you’d like free legal advice about your options, why not get in touch with us today? You can:

  • Call us on 0161 696 9685 to discuss your NHS compensation claim.
  • Use live chat to explain your case to a specialist advisor.
  • Complete our enquiry form so we can call you back.

An advisor will guide you through the claims process. They’ll start by offering a no-obligation consultation where you can discuss your claim. You’ll then get free legal advice about your chances of being compensated. If your case is suitable, it could be taken on by a medical negligence lawyer from our panel. If that happens, they’ll work for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

More Information

This is the final section in our guide on how to make a compensation claim against the NHS. We have listed some resources that you might find helpful during your claim. If there is anything extra that you need, please don’t hesitate to call the number at the top of the page.

NHS Address Lookup Tool – This is useful if you want to find the address to send an NHS complaint to.

Duty Of Care For Nurses – An article by the Royal College of Nurses.

NHS Commissioning Board – Government information on services provided by NHS England.

To demonstrate other ways in which we could help you in the future, we’ve added a list of our guides below:

Car Accident Claims – Free legal advice on starting a compensation claim if you are hurt in a road traffic accident.

Claiming Against Your Landlord – Details about starting a claim if you’re injured because of a negligent landlord.

Bar Injury Claims – This article explains how a personal injury solicitor could help if you are hurt in a pub or bar.

Thank you for reading our guide on how to make a compensation claim against the NHS.

 

Guide by TE

Edited by DG