Suing the NHS for Negligence

Suing the NHS for negligence
BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam
Legally reviewed by: BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam In: Medical Negligence

Suing the NHS for Medical Negligence

Are you thinking of suing the NHS for negligence in England and Wales? We have expert medical negligence solicitors that can give you expert legal advice. For the majority of the time, medical professionals in the NHS are great at what they do, but when things go wrong there can be serious consequences to you. If you have suffered as a result of medical or clinical negligence, then you can sue the NHS for negligence.

The understaffing and overworking issues that the NHS has been dealing with over the past years have put huge stress on healthcare workers, but largely they carry out their examinations to a high standard and are deserving of praise.

Unfortunately, though, mistakes happen which can negatively impact a patient’s life and if this happens it is possible to sue the NHS for negligence.

Although medical malpractice is more often than not unintentional if it does happen the patient and/or their family deserve justice and compensation.

Starting an NHS Negligence Claim

Have you suffered from medical negligence and are you thinking of Suing the NHS for compensation claims so you can receive compensation for the problems you were caused? Our industrial disease solicitors can help.

How Does Suing the NHS Work?

Before suing the NHS for negligence it is important to understand what is classed as negligence; some problems which occur during a patient’s experience with the NHS are simply unavoidable accidents.

Here are just some examples of clinical negligence. You have suffered because of the healthcare provider:

  • Failed to diagnose your condition or made the wrong diagnosis
  • Did not refer you for further investigations such as X-Rays or ultrasounds
  • Made a mistake during a procedure or operation
  • Gave you the wrong medication or treatment
  • Didn’t get your informed consent to carry out a procedure
  • Didn’t fully warn you about all of the risks of treatment

If you’ve suffered as a result of medical treatment, this may be referred to as a ‘medical accident’ or ‘patient safety incident’.

What Can You Do About NHS Negligence?

If you believe you were a victim of NHS negligence resulting in a delay in treatment, misdiagnosis, or negligence against doctors and other health professionals then your first step would be to directly complain to the NHS via a formal complaint.

This route is called the NHS Complaints Procedure and is designed to deal with patient dissatisfaction with general medical procedures and to highlight issues that need to be improved upon.

If you have been injured or made ill by an act of NHS negligence, it is advisable to use the NHS Complaints Procedure before you sue the NHS for negligence.

It should be noted that you can only claim compensation if it can be shown ‘on the balance of probability’ that:

  • Your treatment was carried out negligently – the care you received fell below medically acceptable standards
  • This was what directly caused your injury or illness

If your experience with the NHS has not made you ill or injured, but more dissatisfied with general procedures then instead of suing the NHS for negligence, the complaints procedure is probably the best route for you.

We can help you claim compensation against the NHS for medical negligence

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Important Things to Know When Pursuing a Claim Against the NHS

It’s important to understand that a case against the NHS for negligence is only about claiming compensation, and the Court can’t:

  • Discipline a healthcare professional
  • Force a hospital or individual healthcare professional to change how they work
  • Make a healthcare professional say sorry to you

If you are seeking one of the above then your best bet is to initiate a complaint via the NHS Complaints Procedure.

When considering suing the NHS, it is also important to know that:

  • claim can also be made for the next of kin of someone who has died or doesn’t have capacity to make their own claim
  • There are special compensation schemes for some injuries and losses which you might have a right to access without having to go to court: our medical negligence solicitors will be able to help you establish whether you are eligible
  • You must start your legal claim within 3 years from when the incident happened or when you first began to suffer as a direct result of the incident
  • In the case of children, the 3-year limit doesn’t start to apply until their 18th birthday

Successful Compensation Claims Against the NHS

Recently we have had successful NHS negligence cases ranging from incorrect prescriptions to failure to refer for further examinations.

Suing the NHS for Not being Warned of Risks

One example of a successful claim came from a client who was due to have an operation to remove a growth on his groin.

The client was told that the operation was not urgent and could be delayed, but he opted to have it anyway to get it out of the way.

The risks involved with the procedure were not fully explained and as a result of the operation, a blood clot formed which resulted in the eventual amputation of his leg.

There was a six percent chance of a clot forming, but our client was not told this.

Although he would’ve always had these risks he may have delayed the operation should he have been made fully aware of them before opting to go forward with the procedure.

Suing the NHS for Failure to Diagnose

Another successful case in which our solicitors were able to win justice for a client was in the following situation.

Our client had recently got married and was on her honeymoon in Blackpool.

She was experiencing stomach pains so went to the hospital where she was discharged even though she was vomiting and complaining of severe pain when she should have been kept in and monitored.

The client was ill for the rest of her honeymoon.

When she got home she went to the hospital where they found that she had a kidney stone that could have been treated.

She then had to have a completely avoidable operation, when the kidney stone could have been treated with medication

This client was awarded £12,000 in damages.

These are just two examples of the kind of cases our medical negligence solicitors work on.

We know that it may seem intimidating to consider suing the NHS, but if you have suffered due to their negligence you deserve compensation.
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What Can I Get Compensation For?

You can claim compensation for any injuries or losses suffered which were a direct result of the NHS negligence you experienced. This can include:

  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Payment for ongoing treatment
  • Compensation if you can’t carry out certain activities or hobbies
  • Loss of earnings
  • The cost of any extra care or equipment you may need
  • The cost of adapting your home
  • Compensation for psychological damage

Our medical negligence solicitors can advise you on your specific situation.

Do you Qualify for a Claim?

If you’re thinking about suing the NHS for negligence, you should get specialist legal advice as soon as possible.

Claiming for medical negligence against the NHS can be tricky, but with a good quality solicitor who listens and works closely with their client as medical negligence experts do, the process will be made as smooth as possible.

Remember, if you do choose to sue the NHS you’ll have to go over what happened to you many times.

While you may find this traumatic and upsetting, our solicitors will ensure that you are never made to disclose anything which makes you feel too uncomfortable.

Our aim is to make the process as smooth as possible for you and get you justice.

Suing the NHS for Negligence with AWH Solicitors

If you believe that you or someone you know has been subject to negligence at the hands of the NHS and want to sue NHS for negligence you should contact our medical negligence solicitors on 0800 999 2220 or use our contact form for guidance and support.

Our expert medical negligence solicitors can help you assess if you can claim compensation for medical negligence in the NHS.
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