Suing The NHS For Medical Negligence – Can I Claim?

By Stephen Kane. Last Updated 26th June 2023. If you’ve been harmed by a medical professional due to them breaching their duty of care, then you may be entitled to make a medical negligence claim.

Within this guide, we will discuss the duty of care all medical professionals owe, regardless of whether they work in the public or private healthcare sector. We will also share examples of the different types of medical negligence claims that could be made. Furthermore, his guide offers advice on suing for medical negligence with a No Win No Fee solicitor.

For advice on how a medical negligence calculator could help with valuing your claim, you can contact our team of friendly advisors today. They are available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide free advice. To reach them, you can:

Select A Section

  1. NHS Compensation Payouts Guide
  2. Medical Negligence Claims – How They’re Broken Down
  3. What Should I Do If I Suffer Negligent Treatment By The NHS?
  4. Claiming For Medical Negligence Suffered By A Family Member
  5. Claims For Misdiagnosis By A GP Or Doctor
  6. Claims For Medical Negligence Caused By An NHS Dentist
  7. NHS Medical Negligence Compensation Claim Time Limits
  8. No Win No Fee Claims For NHS Negligence Compensation
  9. Additional Advice For Those Injured By The NHS

NHS Compensation Payouts Guide

Compensation payouts in NHS negligence claims could depend on the effects of the negligence. If for example, you had suffered an injury because of a medical professional’s actions, or your injury had been left untreated, causing you pain, you could potentially seek compensation for this.

NHS medical negligence claims guide

NHS medical negligence claims guide

For the pain and distress caused by your injury, you can seek general damages. As an NHS compensation calculator would show you, general damages for injuries in compensation claims can be valued in line with previous court claims payouts. To show you this, we have included a table of various injuries listed in the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines, which includes these payouts.

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Injury Notes Compensation Bracket
Kidney: (a) Permanent damage to both kidneys or they have both been lost. £169,400 to £210,400
Kidney: (c) One kidney is lost and the other suffers no damage. £30,770 to £44,880
Bladder: (b) A complete loss of the bladder’s control and function. Up to £140,660
Female Reproductive System Permanent sexual dysfunction in a person with no children. The higher end of the bracket is applicable to cases wither serious medical complications, such as ectopic pregnancies. £43,010 to £102,100
Male Reproductive System Significant sexual dysfunction with impotence in a young person with no children. £43,010 to £88,750
Bowel: (c) Passive incontinence and faecal urgency persisting after surgery. In the region of £79,920
Lung Disease: (c) Disease, such as emphysema, affecting function of the lung with prolonged coughing and breathing difficulties. £54,830 to £70,030
Lung Disease: (e) Bronchitis with wheezing that has little or no effect on social and working life. £20,800 to £31,310
Digestive System : (b)(i) Severe toxicosis resulting vomiting, diarrhoea and a fever with person requiring time in hospital. £38,430 to £52,500
Hernia: (a) After the hernia has been repaired the person will suffer with continuing pain and a limitation on physical activities. £14,900 to £24,170

We’ll explain more about what else you can include as part of your claim below. However, if you are looking for a direct estimate in your claim, or more information about potential NHS negligence payouts, please speak to one of our advisors.

Medical Negligence Claims – How They’re Broken Down

Compensation for successful medical negligence claims could include both general and special damages.

General damages compensate you for the harm you have suffered due to a medical practitioner breaching their duty of care. This includes the pain and suffering it has caused you, as well as how your quality of life may have been affected. In the previous section, we have created a table to help you gain a clearer idea of how much you could receive in general damages following a successful claim.

Special damages compensate you for any of the financial losses you have suffered due to being harmed by medical negligence. Some of the things special damages could compensate you for include:

  • A loss of earnings, both past and future, if you’ve required time off work.
  • Medical costs for further treatments or prescriptions.
  • Care costs if you’ve had to pay someone to care for you.
  • Travel expenses to medical appointments.

It is important that you provide evidence of these financial losses to help support your claim. Bank statements, invoices, payslips, and receipts could all be used as evidence.

If you have any further questions, such as, ‘is suing the NHS after medical negligence possible?’, do not hesitate to contact one of our advisors today.

What Should I Do If I Suffer Negligent Treatment By The NHS?

If you have been injured due to negligent treatment, here are some steps to take…

  • See a medical professional – It is best to see a medical professional for your injuries. This is of paramount importance. Not only for the sake of your wellbeing but also because you might need the doctor’s medical notes if you are to secure compensation for NHS negligence.
  • Report the incident to the NHS – Many people make the mistake of simply waiting for the NHS to receive the letter from their medical negligence solicitor. However, this strategy isn’t always advised. Instead, you should inform the right department of what happened so that there is an official record of it.
  • Get witness contact details – In terms of evidence, witness statements are very valuable. If anyone saw something happen, make sure you get their contact information.
  • Keep proof of special damages – If you have experienced any costs because of your injuries, you can claim for these as special damages. Common examples include prescription costs, loss of earnings, counselling expenses and the cost of travelling to and from the hospital. If you are to claim for these, you will need proof, so keep a hold of any receipts or relevant documents.
  • Take photographs – It could help to strengthen your case if you take photos of your injuries.
  • Make a note of what happened – By doing this, you will almost guarantee that you do not forget any crucial details later down the line. Make as many notes as you can, and be sure to include any relevant names and telephone numbers.

Claiming For Medical Negligence Suffered By A Family Member

A lot of people do not realise that they will be able to claim if a loved one has suffered medical negligence. There are a number of different circumstances whereby this applies. You could be able to make a claim if a loved one has suffered an injury that is so severe whereby they are not able to make a claim themselves. In this instance, you would act as their litigation friend.

Doctor misdiagnosis negligence

Doctor misdiagnosis negligence

Also, you would also be able to make a claim if it is your child that has suffered an injury because of the NHS. In this instance, you would be able to make a claim for your child until their 18th birthday. If you don’t, your child will then have three years from the date of their 18th birthday. However, we do recommend that you make the claim, as it is a lot easier to investigate the closer to the incident date.

You may also be able to make a claim if someone you love has lost their life because of negligence. This can often be the case for the likes of cancer negligence. If an illness like cancer is not diagnosed correctly or quickly, this can cause the illness to get a lot worse and it can sometimes become fatal when it would not have been. Of course, this is just one example of how NHS negligence can result in a fatal accident. If this has happened, you would possibly be able to claim NHS negligence death compensation for the likes of general damages, punitive damages, medical expenses, a bereavement award, and funeral expenses.

Claims For Misdiagnosis By A GP Or Doctor

You might also make a claim if your doctor has misdiagnosed you. This includes wrongful diagnosis and delayed diagnosis as well. When you make a claim, there are a number of factors that will be taken into account. This includes the following:

  • The nature of your illness
  • The severity of the injuries you have sustained
  • The unnecessary pain and suffering you have experienced because of the incorrect diagnosis
  • How long your recovery time was extended by
  • How the misdiagnosis has impacted your quality of life
  • If your life expectancy has been impacted because of the misdiagnosis

Claims For Medical Negligence Caused By An NHS Dentist

There are many organisations and charities in the country that help to promote the high standard of dentistry and oral care. This includes the Dental Practice Board and the British Dental Association, with a prominent charity being the British Dental Health Foundation.

Out of all of the NHS dentistry claims, dental negligence can be regarded as one of the most common. This is when a dentist has not provided proper care or has provided inaccurate advice and information. A lot of dental negligence claims are also made when a dentist has carried out a treatment incorrectly and caused further damage or has perhaps carried out the treatment on the wrong tooth. 

Aside from this, other incidents when dental claims may be made are when you have injured your teeth as part of another incident. Perhaps you slipped on a wet floor at the NHS hospital. Quite often these incidents can lead to broken teeth or even fractured jaws.

If you feel that you have suffered because a dentist has provided you with wrong advice, intervention, or a dental procedure that has gone wrong, then there is a chance that you will be entitled to compensation. This does not tend to happen very often. After all, there is an extremely high level of quality when it comes to dentistry in the UK. Yet mistakes can occur. No matter what has happened, our NHS medical negligence solicitors can ensure you get the maximum payout possible.

NHS Medical Negligence Compensation Claim Time Limits

A lot of people do not realise that there is a time limit when making a claim. You can use the table below to see the NHS medical negligence time limit for your case.

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Circumstances Time Limit
NHS injury 3 years from the date of the injury
NHS illness (developed over time) 3 years from the date of the diagnosis of the illness
Criminal activity involved 2 years from the date of the accident
Child injured Parents can claim until their child turns 18. After this, the child has three years

No Win No Fee Claims For NHS Negligence Compensation

The solicitors on our panel work on a No Win No Fee basis. They will handle your case for you, ensuring minimal hassle and stress is caused. After all, we appreciate how much of a distressing time this can be. Since all of these solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis, financial risk is diminished and you do not actually need any money to begin your claim. There won’t be any fees to pay during the case either. If that wasn’t enough, they will only take on your case if they think you have a strong chance of getting compensation. They won’t waste your time. And if the case does not succeed, you will not be charged anything at all. 

If your claim is a success, your solicitor may seek a modest percentage of your compensation to help cover their costs. This is legally capped, so you don’t have to worry about losing lots of your compensation.

If you have any further questions about making a claim against the NHS, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Additional Advice For Those Injured By The NHS

NHS complaints – Read the NHS page on making complaints.

NHS legislation on complaining – This is legislation covering the complaints system.

Workplace Rights – our guide to accidents in the workplace.

No Win No Fee Claims – our guide to making No Win No Fee claims.

Learn more about medical negligence claims in our guides below: