NHS Complaints Procedure
The NHS is well equipped with highly trained and qualified medical professionals of all fields saddled with the task of providing a full range of health services adapted to the individual’s health needs and the family.
NHS Negligence Claims Statistics
NHS negligence compensation claims are filed every year and the number of NHS claims continues to increase steadily as the cost of settling medical negligence claims in the NHS also rises exponentially.
For instance, in 2018/19, there were 10678 new compensation claims against the NHS opened in several departments according to NHS statistics which suggest an average of just over 29 new NHS negligence claims filed against the NHS every day.
While in 2019/2020, new medical negligence claims increased to 11,682, the total amount of compensation paid was around £2.3 billion and in this figure, £61.4 million was spent on settling claims of GP negligence alone. Obstetrics claims had the highest amounts of negligence payouts for that year.
The effects of medical negligence on the patient cannot be overemphasized as many patients have been left with debilitating and lifelong disabilities while some have died as a result of NHS misdiagnosis from healthcare professionals. Therefore, these compensations would go a long way in easing the pain, suffering, emotional trauma and financial losses caused by the negligent treatment.
If you or your loved one has suffered as a result of medical negligence in the NHS, you are legally entitled to make NHS compensation claims. Our NHS Negligence Solicitors are friendly, humane and dedicated to ensure a smooth and stress-free NHS claims process. They will leave no stone unturned to see you are well represented and receive a deserved NHS compensation. Our consultation sessions are free of charge so you don’t have to worry about any financial commitments when you choose to speak with us.
Why Choose Us
We are specialist solicitors helping people affected by NHS negligence.
We assist our clients by thoroughly evaluating the situation presented to determine if there is a good chance of winning the case; help gather documents and evidence to build a strong case and establish that the medical professional is liable; negotiate a good compensation payout and if the case goes to court, we will make sure you get the best legal representation.
We would also support you in any way necessary to ensure you get access to quality medical care or rehabilitation vital for your recovery. And in the case where the loved one has died, we ensure that you are well compensated so that you don’t suffer financially.
All these are available to you for free when we represent you under our no fee no win policy. This policy allows you to speak to us and we represent you without you paying for legal fees. You are also protected from paying a dime even if the case is not successful as we will take out an insurance cover known as the “After the event” insurance policy on your behalf.
We encourage you to get in touch with us at your earliest convenience as you have a limited time to make medical negligence compensation claims. You can also fill out our online assessment form and one of our lawyers will reach out to you soonest.
Sue the NHS For Medical Negligence
Before considering suing a hospital or the NHS for medical negligence, it is important that you are certain that medical negligence has occurred. This is important because suing a hospital for negligence is a very serious issue and even more when it involves the NHS. Therefore, it is important to know what constitutes medical negligence before seeking a lawyer to sue the hospital or NHS for medical malpractice. It is also important to note that your claims are valid only when the negligent treatment has caused you harm, trauma or suffering.
NHS Medical negligence can occur in the following ways :
- A medical professional completely missing or failing to diagnose the patient’s condition causing the condition to worsen
- Making an incorrect diagnosis of the patient’s ailment which will lead to giving wrong treatment
- Failing to carry out proper physical examinations or recommend the patient to take vital tests to confirm his or her status
- Unnecessary treatment delay causing the illness to become worse
- Costly errors during a procedure or surgical mistakes such as never events, nerve damage
- Prescription errors
- Errors during drug administration including giving overdose or underdose.
- Failing to warn the patient of risks of a treatment or procedure or getting the patients’ informed consent before proceeding with a treatment procedure.
- Negligence during antenatal care, during delivery and post-delivery causing harm or birth injury to mother and/or child.
- Discriminating or abusive treatment
- Delay in or failing to refer you to a specialist for proper medical attention
If you or your loved one has suffered from any of these causing you pain, suffering, trauma, disability or led to the death of a loved one, you should not delay in seeking justice. Our NHS Solicitors are ever ready to assist you with your claims.
What Types of NHS Negligence Claims Do We Handle?
At NHS Negligence claims, we undertake medical negligence claims in the following areas;
- Orthopaedic Negligence Claims
- Cauda Equina Syndrome Negligence Claims
- Birth Injury Negligence Claims
- Stillbirth Negligence Claims
- Dental Negligence Claims
- NHS GP/ Doctor Negligence Claims
- Care Home Abuse Claims
- Cerebral Palsy Negligence Claims
- Cancer Misdiagnosis Negligence Claims
- Hospital Negligence Claims
- Brain Injury Medical Negligence Claims
- Surgical Error Negligence Claims
- Cosmetic Surgery Negligence Claims
- Erb’s Palsy Negligence Claims
- Hernia Mesh Compensation Claims
- Forceps Delivery Negligence Claims
- Spinal Injury Negligence Claims
How Can I Prove A Case Of NHS Negligence?
One very vital area towards getting a deserved compensation for hospital negligence is obviously to prove that a medical professional acted negligently. It has to be clearly proven that :
- The medical professional owed you a duty to care for you
- There was a Deviation from such duty of care
- The deviation directly caused you pain, suffering or made your condition worse
- The injury, pain and suffering sustained has had serious impacts on your life and wellbeing.
In order to prove the aforementioned critical areas of negligence, you would need to provide some documents and information that would serve as evidence to support your claims. Our NHS Solicitors will assist you in the gathering these facts and documents if you are unable to do so. We will also provide for you Independent Medical Negligence Experts in the field of interest to perform medical examinations on you and give medical reports which would also help determine the extent of injury suffered. Sometimes, you may need more than one medical independent expert to perform a medical examination on you. This report will also be important while negotiating settlement payouts for you. These documents include:
- Detailed statements including dates of medical appointments, the doctor who attended to you, diagnosis made, why you think you were negligently treated, harm suffered and every other information necessary towards proving your claims successfully.
- Medical reports, test results and scans
- Witness statements (which could be from close friends and family)
- Evidence of financial losses as a result of the negligent treatment (this includes both past and present financial losses)
- Medical Report from the Independent Medical Expert (who is usually a specialist in the field) after performing medical examinations on you.
Our NHS medical solicitors will support you and give you the legal advice you need to pursue your claims while also ensuring that the whole process is smooth and stress-free for you starting from the initial investigations till the agreed settlement fee is paid.
Who Can Make A Claim?
The following sets of people can make clinical negligence claims.
- The sufferer/victim of the negligent treatment
- Those who depend on the victim
- The victim’s family
- The victim’s estate
NHS Complaints Procedure
Before making claims for medical negligence, you can make complaints first. This will help you understand what really happened as well as express your displeasure and dissatisfaction of the actions or inactions of the medical professional.
Other times, you may want to make complaints so as to get the NHS or GP involved to accept mistakes and apologize to you. In very serious cases, however, making complaints alone may not be enough as they do not normally yield compensations as claims do but the response you receive to your complaint can be very vital while making your negligence claims.
Despite the high quality of care received in the NHS, there are large volumes of complaints coming in every year.
In 2018/2019 alone, 208,924 formal complaints were written against the NHS, so you don’t have any reason to fear as you will not be the only one complaining.
The rule concerning complaints is that they must be written and sent to the NHS or whoever is responsible for the negligent treatment within 1 year of becoming aware of the negligent treatment. The complaint can be made directly to the medical professional responsible or to the Practice Manager in the case of the NHS. You may also make these complaints to the NHS commissioning body while in the case of a private clinic, you can direct your complaints to the superiors of the health professional involved.
Your complaint letter should include the following:-
- The main subject of your complaint
- The GP or healthcare provider involved
- Comprehensive details of what transpired including diagnosis and treatment
- Also, include if you would like to be contacted for further discussions or response to your complaint
It is important for you to express yourself in a clear, decent and orderly manner so that it can be well understood without any abusive remarks and leaving out irrelevancies. The recipients of your letter will notify you acknowledging your complaint within three working days. They will make internal investigations and you will receive a formal reply.
If you make a complaint on behalf of another person, you will be required to include an authorization letter allowing you to make such complaints on their behalf. If the victim has died, you will also be required to show proof that you are the next of kin or you have been authorized by the next of kin to make complaints on their behalf.
The NHS Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) will make available to you guidelines on how to make NHS complaints. You do not need a lawyer to make a complaint but should you require any assistance, we are more than willing to help.
Please visit the NHS website or dial NHS 111 to find details of your nearest PALS office.
The following should form part of your complaints letter :
- The main subject of your complaint
- The GP or healthcare provider involved
- When you received the details of the events that occurred and how they happened including diagnosis and treatment
- Your questions and the explanations you seek
- Also, include if you would like a face-to-face meeting or a formal apology as a response
It is important you leave out irrelevancies and go straight to the point expressing yourself in a clear, decent and orderly manner so that it can be well understood. The recipients of your letter will acknowledge that they have received your complaint and will notify you no later than 3 working days. Internal investigations will be made and you will receive a formal reply.
If you are making a complaint on behalf of another person, you will need to include an authorization letter allowing you to make complaints on their behalf. In situation where the victim has died, you will be required to show proof that you are the next of kin or you were authorized by the next of kin to do so.
The NHS Patient Advice and Liaison Services will make available to you guidelines on how to make NHS complaints if you are unsure how to do so. You would not normally need a lawyer for this but should you require our assistance, we are delighted to help.
To find details of your nearest PALS office, please visit the NHS website or dial NHS 111.
What If I Am Not Satisfied About How My Complaint Was Handled?
The next step to take if you are not satisfied with the response received or the way the investigations were done concerning your complaints, is to write to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). The Ombudsman is an independent body from the NHS and Government that takes charge of making investigations into medical negligence cases which were not successfully resolved during the local resolution stage.
The Ombudsman will require that you provide all details of your case, the original complaint made to the NHS as well as the response to your complaint. Please endeavour to keep these documents safe as they will be vital should you decide to make claims. You can find guidelines on how to make complaints to the Ombudsman on their website. They also provide a complaint form that can be downloaded and filled manually or completed online.
Where the negligent treatment was suffered while in a private hospital, you will need to write to the Independent Healthcare Sector Complaints Adjudication Service who will guide you through their complaints procedure.
If you are still dissatisfied or you feel you have gathered sufficient information to sue the NHS for negligence, then you will have to contact your medical negligence claims lawyer to guide you on how to make claims for medical negligence.
Our NHS claims solicitors have worked with several clients over the years securing hugely satisfying settlement payouts. They will support you in whatever way you require to ensure you have something to smile about after an unfortunate incident.
How Do I Make A Claim Against The NHS For Medical Negligence?
During consultations with several clients, they have always asked about how to sue the NHS for negligence. Suing the NHS for acts of negligence is a very sensitive issue and needs to be handled expertly by specialist negligence claims solicitors who have the experience of representing persons who have suffered negligent treatment while in the NHS.
Generally, the process of making claims against the NHS is outlined below:
- Contact Your Lawyer: You will need to contact your lawyer for legal advice on how to make legal claims against the NHS or private hospital for acts of negligence. Our consultation sessions are free of charge. We will assign to you a personal solicitor who will listen to your story, and evaluate if you have a valid claim. You will also be provided answers to whatever queries you may have about the claims procedure.
Funding Your Claim:Once we are satisfied that you have a strong case and the chances of winning them look good, we will proceed to help you fund your claim. There are various ways to fund your medical negligence claims which include;
- Legal Aid
- Legal Expenses or Before the Event Insurance (BTE)
- Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win No Fee Agreement)
- Trade Union Funding
- Private Funding
We undertake most of our medical negligence claims under a No Win No Fee Agreement which gives you the opportunity to seek justice for harm done to you without any financial implications. You do not have to make any upfront legal fees and should the case be unsuccessful, you will not be required to make any payment either. You may also decide to use one of the other funding types available.
For more information about funding your claims, please visit our Medical Negligence Funding Page. Alternatively, contact us and our lawyers will explain better to your understanding.
- Gathering Facts and Evidence: With your funding in place, the next step which is a vital one is to gather documents and information which will serve as evidence to substantiate your claims. Where you are unable to bring this evidence, we are more than willing to assist you. We will write on your behalf to request access to your medical file, test and scan results and whatever data we will need to make claims. An independent medical expert will also be made available to you to perform physical examinations on you and give a report on the severity of injury or harm done as well as other vital information which will be taken into account as we investigate your case.
- Proving Your Claim (Establishing Liability): Having carried out proper investigations, we aim to make the defendants see that they are guilty and accept liability. The NHS Resolution (NHSR) is the body that makes legal representation on behalf of the NHS. We will write a “letter of claim” to them including our findings on investigating the acts of negligence suffered by our client. Usually, we would expect a response from the defendant after investigations within three months.
- The defendant will either accept liability or deny any wrongdoing. However, the responsibility lies on us to prove that that is culpable and we will do just that. We will also register your case before a law court. This will ensure that both parties follow the rules and meet deadlines as required for a swift resolution. If both parties are unable to reach an agreement, the case will be handled by a judge. This does not necessarily mean that the case will go to trial. In fact, only about 2% of claims brought against the NHS end up in court.
- Where you have suffered losses and need urgent medical attention or rehabilitative care vital for your recovery, we will try to secure interim payments from the defendants. Interim payments can be secured when the defendant has accepted liability. The value secured will be deducted from the total award value when the case is finally settled.
Negotiations and Payment of Compensation Fee: As soon as liability is accepted. Both parties will negotiate a favourable compensation amount taking into consideration the type and severity of harm suffered, financial impacts and future prognosis. If we handle your case under the Conditional Fee Agreement funding type, then a “success fee” of 25% will be deducted from your settlement value while you receive the rest.
Medical negligence damages can be very traumatizing and so the compensation received is aimed at ensuring that neither you, your family nor those who depend on the victim do not have to suffer financially. It also helps you access the required medical care vital for your recovery.
NHS Negligence Payout
Medical negligence payout figures vary with each case. This is simply because each case is unique in its own way. Compensation amounts can range from £1,000 to several millions of pounds.
The highest payout awarded due to NHS negligence in the UK was made to a woman paid £24m after a catastrophic surgical blunder left her brain damaged.
The NHS reports that the average payout for medical negligence in the UK is about £50,000. When you come to us, our lawyers are able to give you an idea of what you can expect in compensation using the medical malpractice compensation calculator.
The NHS compensation payouts guide is the Judicial College Guidelines which is updated periodically with average settlement payouts for various injuries arising from medical negligence.
Factors that determine the amount of compensation you may receive include:
- Type of injury or harm suffered
- Location of injury (brain and spinal cord injuries usually command more compensation figures)
- Severity of the injury or harm
- Damages caused by the injury
- Financial losses as a result of the injury (which includes past, present and estimated future losses)
- Prognosis for the future
- Cost of medical appointments
- Cost of Rehabilitative care (this includes mobility aids, assistive devices and the costs of replacements)
- Cost of hiring caregiver where negligence causes disabling condition requiring round-the-clock care
- House Adjustments costs
The table below gives a range of settlement payouts for injuries caused by medical negligence due to NHS in the UK
|Type/ Severity Of Injury||Range Of Compensation Value|
|Severe injury to the chest, lung or heart||£60,000 to £100,000.|
|Severe brain Injury||£180,000 to £300,000|
|Negligence resulting to Pelvic and Hip injury||£50,000 to £85,000.|
|Pain and suffering||£1,000 to £200,000|
|Negligence causing Cerebral Palsy to baby||Compensation values are usually above £500,000|
|Orthopaedic injuries||around £50,000|
|Death||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||Dental negligence payouts range from £1,020 to £1600 for minor damaged teeth And between £27,940 to £91,350 for severe facial scarring|
|Emotional distress||Compensation for emotional distress is between £1,000 to £45,000. This depends on the severity of distress- minor, moderate or severe.|
Claims Against The NHS- Free Initial Advice
If there are areas where you are not yet clear about how to make a compensation claim against the NHS, please reach out to us for free initial advice and counselling on what to do to make a claim. You can contact us by filling out our online enquiry form and we will get back to you to discuss your claim.
Q: How Long Do I Have To Sue The NHS For Medical Negligence?
As a rule, you have three years from the date of the negligent treatment or three years from the “date of knowledge” to make a claim. If the victim is a child under 18, the three-year time limit becomes active as soon as the child turns 18. Thus, the individual has until the 21st birthday to make a claim.
Q: How Long Does A Medical Negligence Claim Take?
Medical Negligence claims on the average take between a year and three years to settle. Some could go on for longer than that especially where both parties are unable to agree on sensitive issues such as liability and/or settlement amount.
Q: How Do I Sue A Hospital?
To sue a hospital for medical negligence, you need to contact a Medical Negligence Claims Solicitor who will guide you, explain the claims process to you and tell you what you need to do to sue a hospital. It is important to be sure that an act of negligence occurred which has caused you harm.
Q: Does the NHS settle out of court?
Yes! Only an average of 2% of claims against the NHS ends in taking the NHS to court. Actually, in 2018/19 that statistics was much lesser as only 0.6% of cases brought against the NHS ended in court.
Q: Can I Make Negligence Claims After 3 years?
Normally, you would have only three years to make a claim. However, for a child, claims can be made until the individual turns 21. Additionally, where the victim is incapacitated or mentally unable to make a claim a as a result of the harm suffered, the three-year time limit can be relaxed until the individual is able to do so.
Furthermore, a time limit of 10 years is given for cases involving defective medical products, devices or implants. The time is counted starting from the date the product went into circulation.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Get For Misdiagnosis?
Compensation amounts are not fixed. This also applies to cases of nhs misdiagnosis. This is because each case of misdiagnosis is different from the other and will result in different outcomes. However, the average compensation amount for medical negligence in the UK is £50,000.
Q: Can I Sue My Doctor For Negligence?
If you believe you have suffered harm, injury or trauma as a result of your doctor’s negligence, then you are entitled to make a claim for negligence. Remember, for your claim to be valid, it must be established that the negligent act actually caused you harm.
Q: How Long After A Death Can I Sue A Hospital?
In the unfortunate incident where the victim dies as a result of medical malpractice, you have three years from the date of death to make a claim.
Q: Can I Sue A Hospital For Misdiagnosis?
The answer is simply yes. Misdiagnosis is a form of medical negligence; therefore, you may sue a hospital or the GP involved if you strongly believe that your case was misdiagnosed and therefore not managed according to the standards of medical practice.
Q: Are NHS Claims Ethical?
Of course, NHS claims are ethical. You are legally entitled to sue the NHS for acts of negligence such as misdiagnosis, delay in treatment and other negligent treatment which has caused you emotional distress, injury and trauma. Our Negligence Claims Solicitors will guide you to do so.