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NHS Compensation Claims
NHS compensation claims refers to a situation where an individual takes legal action against the NHS or any of its staff for acts of negligence which has caused the individual or a loved one to suffer avoidable physical pain, financial losses, psychological trauma or other damages.
Healthcare professionals owe a “Duty of Care” to their patients and should do their very best to ensure that their patients get the best possible standard of medical care as any act of negligence can be disastrous or fatal.
NHS Medical Negligence Statistics
The NHS being the public health system globally does a wonderful job caring for the health needs of millions of patients from around the world every year. It is probably the best organized government owned healthcare establishment with highly qualified medical professionals’ experts in different areas of medicine.
In spite of these, there are rising cases of NHS compensation claims as a result of NHS negligence. For instance, an average of 29 compensation claims were brought against the NHS everyday in the 2018/2019 year as the total number of claims were 10,678. That year, the NHS paid £1.778 billion in settlement payouts for claims against various NHS departments. This same year, there were 6943 successful claims against the NHS out of the 11,625 claims which were closed.
NHS compensation claims made against the department of Emergency medicine (1409) where the highest against a single department in that year, followed by Orthopaedic surgery (1262), Obstetrics (1076), General surgery (927) and Gynaecology (569) in that order.
In the following year, the compensation amount paid by NHS Resolution rose to £2.3billion with about £61.4 million spent on GP negligence claims.
Although some cases of clinical negligence are accidental, this does not mean that the individual and/or family will be left empty handed to suffer without any form of monetary compensation for the injury suffered. Any form of NHS negligence is not acceptable and if you or your loved one is a victim of NHS negligence, you are legally entitled to sue the NHS.
Our specialist NHS negligence solicitors are here for you. We will stand by you, support you in any way you require and give you the legal advice on what suing the NHS for negligence means and how to make a compensation claim against the NHS. We will make a free claim assessment of your case and determine if you have a valid claim for negligence. If this is so, we will proceed to represent you and ensure you get a deserving compensation amount for your suffering all at no cost due to our No Win No Fee Policy.
What Constitutes NHS Negligence?
It is important to know what actually constitutes medical negligence before suing the NHS or any of its staff for negligent treatment. In our many years of representing many persons who have suffered from medical negligence in the NHS, our NHS compensation solicitors have been able to identify the following as different forms of negligence that can lead to making of compensation claims.
- Missed diagnosis where a medical professional failed to identify the patient’s ailment
- Incorrect diagnosis
- Late diagnosis
- Failure to recommend the patient to undergo vital tests before making diagnosis
- Delayed treatment which worsens the condition of the patient
- Surgical mistakes such as operating on the wrong site, leaving surgical instruments inside the patient’s body, unnecessary nerve or organ damage
- Prescription or drug administration errors
- Failing to warn the patient of risks of a procedure and getting the patients’ informed consent before proceeding
- Negligence leading to childbirth injuries to either or both mother and child
- Injuries to mother and/or child because of negligent care before, during and after delivery.
- Discriminating or abusive treatment
- Unnecessary delay in or completely failing to refer the patient to a specialist for better medical examination
- Failing to make proper follow ups on the patient and monitor progress
Therefore, if you or your loved one has suffered from any of the above-mentioned negligent treatment or anything similar which has resulted in avoidable pain, suffering, trauma, disability or even death of a loved one, then you may have strong grounds for an NHS negligence claim. We encourage you to reach out to us without delay so that we can assist you make a claim.
Types of NHS Negligence Claims We Handle
Our Specialist NHS claims solicitors have the expertise to assist you make the following negligence claims against the NHS;
- Cancer misdiagnosis claims
- Dental negligence claims
- Cauda Equina negligence claims
- Brain injury claims
- Orthopaedic Negligence claims
- NHS GP Negligence claims
- Surgical Negligence claims
- Forceps Delivery Negligence claims
- Childbirth injury claims
- Care Home Abuse Claims
- Hospital Negligence Claims
- Cosmetic Surgery Negligence Claims
- Spinal Injury Negligence Claims
- NHS injury at work compensation claims
Can You Sue The NHS For Negligence?
Yes, you can sue the NHS if you or your loved one has suffered from acts of negligence from the NHS staff which has left you or your loved one in avoidable pains, distress, trauma, or suffering of any kind.
Our NHS negligence solicitors have the expertise to help you make a claim. You will get claims advice during our free consultation sessions and a free assessment of your claim to determine if you have strong grounds to make a claim. If this is so, be rest assured that you will obtain justice and get a deserved compensation.
Why Should I Make An NHS Compensation Claim?
It is important to make NHS compensation Claims as this can help to ensure that the NHS takes appropriate measures so that such negligent actions do not occur again. Our solicitors have found out that oftentimes the NHS makes certain changes to improve their service delivery after an NHS claim is made. Therefore, making NHS claims creates an opportunity to identify and investigate mistakes made by the NHS staff so that improvements can be made.
Also, you make claims to receive a settlement payout for the harm done to you as a result of the NHS medical negligence. Although compensation will not reverse the effects of the injury and trauma suffered, it can however enable you to cover for your medical expenses, cost of rehabilitation and therapies, out of pocket expenses, loss of income and others which will definitely be vital to your recovery.
Who Can Make An NHS Negligence Claim?
The following sets of people can make NHS negligence claims;
- The victim of the NHS negligence
- Those who depend on the victim
- The victim’s family
- The victim’s estate
How Do I Prove My NHS Claim?
While making a claim, you should be prepared to prove that indeed you were provided with negligent treatment or substandard care and that the act of negligence is the reason why you are suffering.
As the plaintiff, you should be able to prove that;
- Your healthcare provider owed you a duty of care
- But the healthcare personnel breached that duty of care
- And that this failure in fulfilling the duty of care towards you directly caused you pain, injury or worsened your medical condition
- Your life has been affected severely as you have suffered physically, psychologically as well as financially as a result
The following documents will be needed to prove your claim;
- Comprehensive statements including dates of medical appointments, the NHS staff who attended to you, what negligent act they made
- Medical reports including test results and scans
- Statements from witnesses
- Evidence of financial losses (including past and current financial losses)
- Report from an independent medical expert, who is usually a specialist in the field after performing further medical examination on you. This independent expert will be provided to you by your solicitors.
NHS Complaints Procedure Compensation
Before you make a claim, you may want to make a complaint first to really understand what happened and why you were treated negligently. In such a case, you will write a complaint letter to the NHS seeking explanation for what happened to you.
Your reason for making a complaint may just be to get the NHS or staff involved to issue an apology to you. It is important to note that complaints do not yield compensation, but they can help you gather as much information you may need to make a claim. About 208,924 formal complaints were written against the NHS in 2018/19 alone and that is a high number of complaints.
The NHS The NHS Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) will guide you on how to make your complaints. We encourage you to dial NHS 111 or visit the NHS website to find details of your nearest PALS office.
Your complaint letter should get to the NHS within 12months of becoming aware of the medical negligence you suffered and should be addressed to the Practice Manager or the NHS commissioning body. It should be written in a clear and orderly manner and should not contain any abusive remarks. The NHS will notify you upon receipt of your letter within 4 working days. You will also get a formal response to your complaint usually with four months
It is important that the following information be added into your complaint letter
- The main subject of your complaint- (it could be a pain and suffering complaint letter)
- The medical professional involved
- Detailed statements of all that transpired
- How you would want to be contacted for further discussions or response to your letter of complaint
If you make a complaint on behalf of another person, you may be required to show proof that you were authorized to make such complaints on their behalf.
You do not need the services of a medical negligence solicitor to make a claim but if you require our help, we are very happy to help you.
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)
This is the next stage of making complaints if your complaints were not handled to your satisfaction by the NHS. The PHSO is an independent body from the NHS and the government. They make investigations into complaints that were not resolved in the local resolution stage.
You will be required to provide all documents pertaining to your case and the complaint letter submitted to the NHS. The Ombudsman also provides guidelines on how to make complaints on their website.
How Do I Make A Claim Against The NHS?
If you are not satisfied with the response or explanations you have received or you think you may have enough information to prove that you did not receive the right standard of care, then you can proceed to make a compensation claim.
We have expert medical negligence solicitors who can assist you make a strong claim giving you a solid legal representation to ensure that your claim is successful and that you get a deserved compensation.
The process of making a claim involves the following;
- Contacting Your Medical Negligence Lawyer
- Funding Your Claim
- Gathering Facts and Evidence
- Proving Your Claim (Establishing Liability)
- Negotiations and Payment of Compensation Fee
Most medical negligence cases are settled out of court and as of 2019/2020 only 0.6% of all claims made against the NHS involved taking the NHS to court.
NHS Compensation Payouts 2021
Your compensation amount is not fixed but varies with each case. Medical negligence cases are different from one another and so will command different compensation payouts. Each NHS claim has its own specifics and they all play a role in determining your settlement payout.
Although compensation values can fall anywhere between £1,000 to several millions of pounds, the NHS Resolution states that the average compensation amount for medical negligence is £50,000.
Our solicitors can give you an estimate of what you can receive using our NHS compensation calculator.
When determining compensation payouts, two major damages are considered;
General Damages: this is determined by the Judicial College Guidelines and takes care of the type of injury suffered, location and severity of injury.
Special Damages: on the other hand, covers for financial expenses incurred, out of pocket expenses, future prognosis, costs of medical treatment, rehabilitation and therapies, costs of assistive devices or mobility aids and accommodation adjustments.
NHS Compensation Payouts Guide
Below is a guide of what you can expect as compensation amount for general damages as determined by the Judicial College Guidelines.
|Type/ Severity Of Injury||Range Of Compensation Value|
|Severe injury to internal organs such as lung or heart||£60,000 to £100,000.|
|Severe brain Injury||£180,000 to £300,000|
|Pelvic and Hip injury||£50,000 to £85,000.|
|Pain and suffering||£1,000 to £200,000 depending on the severity|
|Medical Negligence causing Cerebral Palsy to baby||above £500,000|
|Orthopaedic injuries||around £50,000|
|NHS negligence death compensation||Average payout for medical negligence resulting in death in the UK range from £12,000 to £300,000|
|Spinal cord injuries||£50,000 to £300,000 for moderate and less severe and above £1 million for very severe cases|
|Dental Injuries||£1,020 to £1600 for minor damaged teeth
And between £27,940 to £91,350 for severe facial scarring
|Compensation for distress and inconvenience UK||Between £1,000 to £45,000. depending on the severity of distress- minor, moderate or severe.|
|Scarring||£1,600 to £3,310 for minor scarring
£3,710 to £12,900 for scar that can be hidden
Scarring needing plastic surgery to cover – £8,550 to £28,240
Visible and very severe disfigurement- £16,860 to £91,350 depending on severity and age of the victim
|Psychiatric Damage||Less Severe- £1,440 to £5,500
Moderate- £5,500 to £17,900
Moderately Severe- £17,900 to £51,460
NHS Compensation Claim Time Limit
There is a time limit for making medical negligence claims and this is a three-year from the date of the medical negligence or your date of knowledge. This is according to the Limitation Act of 1980. If the person dies as a result of the negligent treatment, the three years begins to count from the date of death.
The exceptions to this Act are;
- If the victim is under 18years of age, such an individual will be allowed up to his or her 21st birthday to make a claim.
- If the victim is physically or mentally unable to make claims then the three-year time frame can be waived until the individual is able to bring claims.
For these two categories of persons, a loved one also known legally as a litigation friend can make a claim on their behalf rather than waiting until they are able to make claims themselves. It is much better to make claims early enough when documents can be easily assessed and when facts or events can be easily recalled.
We are here to help you make an NHS claim for a loved one if this is the case with you.
No Win No Fee Against NHS
At Medical Negligence Direct, we will undertake all our NHS compensation claims under our No Win No Fee policy also known as Conditional Fee Agreement. With this policy you have the opportunity to take legal action against the NHS without any financial implications to you. We will not ask you to pay us any legal fees before, during or after the entire claims process. We will not even ask you for payment even if your claim is not successful.
However, in the most likely scenario that your claim is successful, we take out 25% of your compensation award which we call success fee, while you receive the rest.
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Frequently Asked Question About NHS Compensation Claims
How Much Does The NHS Pay Out In Compensation?
The amount the NHS pays out in compensation increases with each year. Misdiagnosis claims in 2014/15 received £197.2m in compensation. In 2018/2019, the NHS paid out £1.778 billion in compensation and in the following year, they paid out £2.3billion.
Can I Claim Compensation From The NHS?
Absolutely, you can. As long as you or your loved one is a victim of medical malpractice and you have suffered pain, trauma or complications as a result, you could have strong grounds for a compensation claim. When your claim is successful, you will be adequately compensated for your suffering.
Who Pays The NHS Compensation?
While each NHS Trust is expected to have an insurance cover in place to pay for claims made against it, the NHS Resolution who represents the NHS, will pay the settlement amount on behalf of the NHS trust you are making your claims against.
How Long Does An NHS Compensation Claim Take?
A very straightforward case where the facts are clear and the NHS admits liability can be settled between 18-24 months. However, in a difficult case which involves taking the NHS to court, it will most likely take more than three years to settle.