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NHS Negligence claims


The National Health Service (NHS) is the state funded healthcare system in the UK, run by the Department of Health. The NHS provides the following free healthcare services to UK residents:

If you are receiving treatment from the NHS and suffer an injury due to one of its employee’s negligence then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Medical errors resulting in patient injuries (and in some cases death) can be quite common, usually because of acts or omission on behalf of the practitioners. While these acts or omissions may not be intentional mistakes often occur. Mistakes can be made by anyone, doctors, physicians, midwifes, dentists and so on. The impact this can have on patients and their families is great and therefore there is scope to claim compensation.

The NHS is aware that negligence claims have to be paid out and have a fund set aside exactly for this purpose. Unfortunately NHS negligence cases have become so common that the size of this fund has recently been increased as the NHS Litigation Authority (who finance compensation claims) ran out of money.

It is impossible to list all the type of NHS negligence cases that can be brought, however, the most common examples include:

  • Failure to diagnose a condition
  • Surgical errors
  • Errors in relation to medication such as over prescription
  • Injuries to a mother or child during childbirth

Starting a Claim

In order to make a claim for compensation a patient has to show that the NHS owed them a duty of care (axiomatic in most cases), there was a breach of that duty and the breach resulted in a loss. The patient must ultimately show that the care they received fell below that of a reasonably competent health care professional.

Before making a claim there are certain procedures that you should follow. You should get hold of your medical records from your GP or the hospital and if this is insufficient then you should make a request under the Data Protection Act. You should then consider whether to follow institutions complaints procedure, which should be done within 12 months of the incident.  If the response you receive is inadequate, you should then see a medical negligence solicitor and we have specialists who can help.

Obtaining professional advice is very important in NHS negligence cases as they require expert examination of medical records and medical assessments. A medical negligence solicitor can conduct these investigations and will usually deal with your claim on a no win no fee basis. So if you lose your case you will not have to pay any legal fees whereas if you win your legal fees will have to be paid for by the NHS. If you would like to make a claim then you should consult a medical negligence solicitor within three years of the date of the negligence and in the case of a child before they reach the age of 21.

If you instruct us we will try to negotiate a settlement with the NHS on your behalf. If this is unsuccessful then the matter will proceed to Court. Any settlement or successful compensation claim will not only include your legal fees and compensation for pain and suffering, it will also take into account future expenses such as loss of income and the costs of any future medical care such as carers or alterations to the home if the negligence has resulted in mobility issues.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help – an assessment from us is free and will clarify the issues for you and the prospects of successfully making a claim.

Call us for free: 0800 015 5500