Every patient is owed a duty of care by his doctor and should therefore receive the right medical attention. Here is how to sue the NHS for malpractice if you were treated negligently.
The NHS does a fantastic job of helping millions of patients through their health problems every year. However, there are occasions where mistakes happen and a patient suffers harm as a result. While most medical procedures come with a degree of risk, it is the duty of a medical professional to minimize the risk. When they fail in this regard and you end up suffering avoidable complications, you may sue the NHS for malpractice.
Medical mistakes do not necessarily have to be done by a doctor before an NHS claim can be made. Nurses, pharmacists, radiologists, dieticians, and even hospital porters can be held accountable for acts of negligence. As long as their actions caused you harm, you may be entitled to a negligence claim compensation.
When Can We Say That Medical Negligence Has Occurred?
Medical negligence is medical care that falls below the acceptable standard which has directly caused you avoidable injury, or made an existing condition worse. NHS negligence can cause its victim significant pain, stress and emotional trauma. You deserve proper care from the NHS; when this does not happen, you can take some legal actions.
How To Make Complaints About NHS Mistreatment?
If you are not satisfied with any aspect of NHS care or service, you have the right to make a complaint. If you feel this way, it is important that you discuss your concerns as quickly as possible with the service provider. Most times, the issue is resolved quickly.
At the early stage, many issues can be resolved by speaking directly to the staff responsible for your medical care. Note that a letter of complaint will not directly lead to compensation for you. However, making a complaint via the NHS complaints procedure can help you get enough evidence if you plan to sue the NHS for malpractice.
It is expected that a complaint against the NHS be made within 12 months of the negligent treatment you received or of your becoming aware of the negligence. An extension to this time limit may be granted. But your reasons for not making a complaint sooner has to be legitimate. Again, there should still be a possibility of conducting a fair investigation into the matter.
A complaint can be made verbally, in writing or via email. If your complaint is made verbally, you will receive a written record of the complaint. If you are making a complaint for someone else, you must include their written consent when lodging the complaint. However, you will not need any consent if you are making a complaint on behalf of a deceased person. This also applies in a case where the victim lacks the mental capacity to make their own decisions.
How Do I Sue the NHS for Malpractice?
Suing the NHS can be a complex and stressful process, especially at a time that may already be very difficult. In order to successfully sue the NHS for malpractice, the first step is to contact NHS negligence solicitors who will put the wheels in motion on your behalf. Your solicitor will help you prove:
- Breach of duty
Your medical professional owes you a duty of care to make you feel better. When they fail to provide the expected level of care, this duty is breached. To determine if a breach of duty has occurred, your solicitor, with the support of independent medical experts, will determine whether the medical professional’s action is in accordance with a practice accepted as proper by a responsible body of medical men skilled in that particular art. This is known as the Bolam Principle Test.
The injury you suffered must be directly linked to your medical professional’s failure to uphold their duty of care. In this case, your solicitor will need to prove that if things had been done correctly, there is a very high probability that you would not have suffered the injury.
- Breach of duty
For instance, GP negligence claims can be made against an NHS GP who failed to recommend and refer a patient for further tests if that failure caused avoidable complications for the patient.
How Long Before My NHS Claim Is Resolved?
Every negligence claim is unique. Therefore, it is impossible to determine exactly how long a claim will take before it is resolved. However, most NHS claims are resolved within two to three years. However, keep in mind that more complex cases involving serious injuries may take years to settle.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive if I Sue the NHS for Malpractice?
Every claim is different, so it is difficult to put an exact figure on the compensation amount to expect. Typically, the nature and severity of the injury determines how much compensation a claimant receives. For instance, you can expect a few thousand pounds in compensation if the negligence suffered resulted in a minor injury. In contrast, medical malpractice cases resulting in serious life-changing injuries or even death can attract hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds in compensation.
If you decide to sue the NHS for malpractice, an experienced solicitor can assess your claim. With our negligence claim calculator, we can give you an idea on how much compensation you may receive.
Is it Wrong to Sue the NHS for Malpractice?
Some people feel suing the NHS is unethical, so they are uncomfortable about starting the process. After all, in the vast majority of cases, the NHS does a great job and is a highly respected institution in the UK. However, it is important to remember that every patient – is entitled to a high standard of medical care. When the NHS fails to provide this level of care, it is your legal right to sue for medical malpractice.
In fact, if, for instance, you report a doctor for medical malpractice and sue the NHS, it can flag areas of the NHS service that require improvement, ensuring the same mistake does not happen again. It is also important to note that the compensation award you receive is not a jackpot. Instead, it is designed to restore the financial position you would have enjoyed if the medical negligence did not occur.
Is There A Time When I Cannot Sue the NHS for Malpractice?
Yes. There is a strict three-year time limit for making NHS negligence claims which begins from the date of the negligent incident or the date on which you became aware of it. Therefore, ensure you make your claims within this window.
However, this timeframe can be relaxed or adjusted in two scenarios.
- If the patient lacks mental capacity to sue the NHS for malpractice on their own or
- If the individual under the age of 18
You can reach out to us for more information on how this applies to your case.
If you believe you have a claim for NHS negligence – whether this is due to GP negligence, doctor negligence, hospital negligence, delays in medical treatment due to COVID-19 or any other type of negligent treatment – do not hesitate to contact us.
How Do I Fund My NHS Claim?
When you reach out to us, our NHS solicitors will offer a free, no obligation chat to discuss your claims. They will determine whether you have legitimate grounds to sue the NHS. If we believe in the strength of your case, we will likely offer a No Win No Fee agreement. Under this arrangement, you will not bear the financial risk associated with making a claim. If your claim is successful, a success fee will be deducted from your final compensation award. If it is not successful, you will not pay anything.
Get in touch with us
The process involved in suing the NHS does not have to be complicated. Our specialist NHS solicitors are determined to make it less burdensome for you. We will build a strong case for you and see you get a deserving compensation amount.
Call us today on 0800 644 4240 or fill our free claims assessment form to get your claims started.