In this guide, you will find how you can make a clinical negligence claims against NHS if you or your loved one has suffered avoidable injury or trauma as a result of NHS negligence.
We can say that medical professionals have been negligent when they fail to provide the right standard of care to patients under their care causing them to suffer unnecessary pain, injury, trauma or other medical complications.
In other words, clinical negligence can be defined as when a healthcare provider breaches or fails in his duty of care to his patients, by failing to provide the same level of care which is expected from another medical professional in similar situations thus causing avoidable injury or trauma to the patient.
This guide therefore tells you all you need to know and how to make a clinical negligence claim if you or your loved one has been a victim of negligent treatment while in an NHS facility.
Actions which could be termed as negligent include misdiagnosis, late diagnosis, delayed or wrong treatment, prescription errors, surgical errors, among others.
A Doctor’s Breach Of Duty
Medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care and should therefore ensure that they take decisions and perform actions only in the best interest of their patients.
When proving clinical negligence against the NHS, it is important to establish that the actions of the medical professional fell below the standard of a reasonably competent medical professional in that field. Therefore, there is a breach of duty when a healthcare professional fails to meet the standard of a reasonable body of other medical experts in that particular field.
On the other hand, where a doctor has a contract with a patient particularly in a private hospital, and guarantees a particular result, if the doctor fails to produce the promised result, the doctor can be said to be in breach of contract even if the doctor was not particularly negligent.
When a doctor or some other medical professional fails to provide you with the standard of care expected from medical professionals in that field given the conditions presented, causing you to suffer avoidable physical, mental and even financial damages, you may have strong grounds to make clinical negligence claims.
Explaining The Meaning Of Clinical Negligence Compensation Claims
Clinical negligence compensation claims against the NHS refers to the action a patient or a loved one takes on behalf of a suffering loved one to sue the NHS or its staff for failing in their duty of care towards the patient in question.
Suing the NHS for acts of negligence requires that you seek the services of specialist NHS solicitors who will discuss with you, listen to your story, offer you free legal advice, determine if you really have a claim and if you, will guide you on how to make a claim against the NHS.
Our seasoned clinical negligence solicitors have many years of experience dealing with several negligence claims against the NHS over the years and will ensure that you have the best possible legal representation to ensure that you get the justice you deserve.
NHS Negligence Statistics
The NHS is known all over the world as one of the best government-funded health establishments providing quality healthcare services to millions of persons every year. According to statistics, the NHS attends to over 1million patients every 36hours with over 10million surgeries performed yearly across different NHS service providers in the UK.
Despite the quality of care provided in the NHS, cases of NHS negligence continue to occur as medical professionals are stretched beyond limit with the volume of cases they have to attend to every day.
Statistics from NHS Resolution shows that 10678 new cases were opened against the NHS in 2018/19, while 11,625 claims were closed.
The following year, the number of claims against the NHS rose to 11,682 with the total settlement payout also increasing from £1.778Billion to £2.3Billion.
It is expected that these numbers will continue to be on the rise which is why the issue of clinical negligence in the NHS is an important issue.
Clinical Negligence In The NHS
Having represented several clients of different clinical negligence claims against the NHS, our solicitors who deal with clinical negligence have been able to identify several clinical errors and medical negligence cases which may give you strong grounds to make a claim for clinical negligence.
- Your Doctor failing to diagnose your condition (missed diagnosis) causing your condition to worsen
- Your doctor misdiagnosing your condition meaning that you received the wrong treatment
- Surgical mistakes including anaesthesia errors
- Unnecessary treatment delays causing your condition to get more complicated
- Your doctor prescribed the wrong drugs or prescribe the wrong dosage which has affected you
- Failure of your medical professional to inform you of risks associated with a planned treatment procedure and getting your consent before commencing
- Failing to carry out or refer you for proper tests before making diagnosis
- Unnecessary delay or failure in referring you to a specialist for expert medical attention
Our clinical negligence solicitors in London with offices covering the entire UK, have the expertise to handle your claims if you have suffered any of these negligent treatments or similar ones as these.
Some of the claims we handle and have undertaken for clients over the years include the following;
- Child Birth Injury Claims
- Cancer misdiagnosis claims
- Care home negligence claims
- Brain injury claims
- Orthopaedic Negligence claims
- Doctor Negligence claims
- Dental negligence claims
- Cerebral palsy claims
- Cauda Equina negligence claims
- Surgical Negligence claims
- Forceps Delivery Negligence claims
- Hospital negligence claims
- Spinal cord injury clinical negligence claims
- Fatal medical negligence claims
- Cosmetic negligence claims
- Allergic reaction negligence claims
- Fertility negligence claims
- Failed Sterilization negligence claims
- Accident and Emergency negligence claims
Additionally, we have handled a case of suicide caused by NHS clinical negligence as well as personal injury claim is the NHS.
The Claims Procedure
Prior to making NHS medical negligence claims, you may wish to first make complaints about what you think is a negligent treatment you or your loved one may have suffered while in the NHS. This is what the NHS complaints procedure entails. Although making complaints will not yield compensation, it will actually help you understand what actually happened as well as gather vital information which you may use to build your case should you decide to make a claim. For some persons, they do not really need the compensation but would want the doctor or NHS to accept their wrong doing and issue an apology.
The NHS complaints procedure is that complaints should be made within 12 months of being aware of the negligent treatment. It is your right to make complaints if you are displeased with the level of care you received while at the NHS. In fact, there were 208,924 formal complaints written against the NHS in 2018/19, so you have nothing to worry about as you are not the only one making complaints. We also advise that you make your complaints as early as possible because making complaints does not pause the limited time you have to make a claim.
Your letter of complaint should be addressed to the NHS practice manager or NHS commissioning body. You can find guidelines on how to make your complaints by contacting the NHS Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS). Alternatively, we are happy to help if you wish to come to us to assist you with your complaints.
Make your complaints in a clear and polite way, including any evidence you have to support your complaint. Also include the medical professional(s) involved. The NHS will notify you that they have received your letter within three working days. They will thereafter make their investigations and issue you a formal response in not later than four months. The response you get will inform your next action.
If you are not satisfied with the way your complaint was handled, you can then write to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) who will make further investigations into your matter.
If the complaints you are making are on behalf of a loved one, you will be required to show proof that you are the next of kin or were authorized to make the complaint on their behalf.
Making A Claim Against The NHS
To make a claim against the NHS, you should be able to prove that indeed the NHS or its staff was negligent in performing their duty of care to you or your loved one. You therefore must be ready to establish that the NHS was liable but their failure to fulfil their duties directly caused you or your loved one the injury, pain, trauma or other complications currently suffered.
The four parts of negligence which much be proven are-
- Duty- The NHS owed you a duty of care
- Deviation- The NHS breached, failed or deviated from their duty of care to you
- Direct Causation- The breach of duty of care was the proximate cause of your injury
- Damages- You have suffered other damages both physically, emotionally, psychologically, socially and financially as a result of the injury or harm
When you come to us to represent you, we will assign to you a personal clinical negligence lawyer who will discuss your claims with you and professionally examine if you have a strong claim as well as your chances of winning. We will also support you in any way you require while ensuring that the entire claims process is not an additional burden for you but free and stress free.
Stages Of A Clinical Negligence Claim
The stages involved in making a clinical negligence claim are-
- Speak With Us – Contact your negligence claims lawyer for professional advice
- Fund Your Claim – You will be presented with different medical negligence claims funding options. However, we are pleased to tell you that you can make your claims without any financial implications to you using our No Win No Fee policy
- Gather Your Evidence – These will include- Comprehensive statements of all that transpired, medical reports, test and scan results, statements from witnesses which could be close friends or family, photographs showing extent of damage, proof of financial losses due to the injury suffered.
Additionally, an independent medical expert will be assigned to perform a thorough medical examination on you and give a report on the severity of harm and damage caused.
- Write A Letter Of Claim To The Defendant– The essence of this is to notify them of your decision to make a claim and also get them to accept liability.
- Registering The Claims Before A Law Court– This does not mean that your claim will go to a trial but it ensures that both parties play their respective roles as prescribed by law to ensure a smooth resolution
- Negotiating A Settlement Fee And Payment
Clinical Negligence Compensation Amounts
NHS compensation amounts vary from one claim to another as a result of the uniqueness of each case and the facts surrounding it. However, our lawyers can give you a realistic estimate of what you can get as compensation amount using our clinical negligence claim calculator.
Damages you can claim for which will influence your NHS clinical negligence payouts are
General damages- This covers for-
- Type and location of injury
- Severity of the injury
- Impacts and damages caused by the injury
Special damages-This will covers for-
- Financial losses and out of pocket expenses as a result of the injury suffered including past, present and estimated future financial losses
- Costs of medical appointments and other travel expenses
- Costs of rehabilitation and therapy
- Costs of purchasing mobility aids, assistive devices and the costs of replacing them
- Cost of hiring caregivers
- Housing adjustment costs
Making Your Claim Without Paying Fees
At Medical Negligence Direct, we have some of the best clinical negligence solicitors in the UK who are able to handle your NHS clinical negligence claims using our No win no fee policy which allows you to make claims without having to make any upfront payments for legal fees.
Only at the end of a successful claim will 25% of your compensation fee be deducted as “success fee” while you will have the rest.
Reach out to us today by filling out our online claims’ assessment form or call us on 0800 644 4240, so that we can schedule a meeting with you and discuss your claims.