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A Guide to Misdiagnosis Claims: Do You Have A Claim?

The term NHS Misdiagnosis refers to the breach in the duty of medical care by the NHS. In this case, a medical professional towards their patient causing unnecessary pain, suffering, trauma, a worsened medical condition or leading to the death of the individual. Therefore, clinical negligence includes all forms of substandard care, actions and inactions of healthcare providers which are below what is expected of medical professionals consequently causing pain and suffering to the patient under their care.

NHS Misdiagnosis Claims

NHS Misdiagnosis Claims

NHS misdiagnosis claims refers to when an individual makes an NHS negligence claim or sues the NHS or NHS GP because their condition was not diagnosed, was diagnosed incorrectly or was diagnosed late causing harm, trauma or a more complicated medical condition.

Some of the most common misdiagnosis claims relate to:
Missed Fracture Compensation Claims Claims Appendicitis Misdiagnosis Tendon Injury Misdiagnosis Claims
Cauda Equina Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims Stroke Misdiagnosis Claims Cancer misdiagnosis claims

Medical misdiagnosis may result from an indeliberate error in diagnosis or obvious negligent conduct on the path of a medical professional. Some events that can be classed under medical/NHS misdiagnosis include:

  • Failure to diagnose or delay in making diagnosis
  • Failure to warn a patient about the risks of carrying out a particular medical procedure or treatment.
  • Incorrect treatment
  • Delayed treatment
  • Prescription errors
  • Failure to recommend a patient for further tests to make the correct diagnosis
  • Failure to refer a patient to a Specialist or Consultant for further examination
  • Failure to properly supervise the patient
  • Surgical and other Operating room errors
  • Performing wrong tests
  • Errors in reading and interpretation of test and scan results
  • Negligent care and medical attention leading to the development of infections while in the NHS
  • Poor monitoring of mother and child during prenatal care, delivery, and the post-natal period leading to complications, or death of one or both mother and child

NHS Misdiagnosis Statistics

Over the years, the number of medical malpractice cases have continued to skyrocket. Consequently, the amounts paid out yearly in compensation have continued to surge exponentially, even at a higher rate than the increase in the number of hospital negligence cases.

Misdiagnosis statistics in the NHS according to the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) for the 2014/2015 year, show that the NHS paid out £197.2m in compensation for misdiagnosis across several medical specialties. The NHSLA also reports that in 2018/2019, 11,625 claims were closed. Of this number, 6943 claims were successful. Furthermore, the number of claims made against the NHS in 2019/2020 rose to 11,682 claims with £2.3Billion paid out in compensation.

Due to the increase in the number of claims and compensation amounts paid per successful case, provisions for claims settlements have been increased by £6.4 billion to £83.4 billion as of March, 31st 2019. Of course, this is an enormous figure considering the fact that NHS medical professionals are highly trained and qualified.

Note: The NHSLA describes misdiagnosis in two ways:

  • Failure/delay diagnosis
  • Wrong diagnosis

Top Misdiagnosed Conditions In The NHS

According to the NHSLA, the top five medical conditions that are most likely to be misdiagnosed are:

  • Fracture (29%)
  • Cancer (14%)
  • Tendon (6%)
  • Scaphoid (5%)
  • Hip (5%)

This is according to the information provided by the NHSLA on the top 30 words that appear when looking at claims that were closed or settled in 2014/2015 which were related to “failure/delayed diagnosis” and “wrong diagnosis”.

Which NHS Trusts Paid Out The Highest Amounts For “Failure/Delay Diagnosis” Claims?

The table below shows the NHS Hospitals that came Top for the highest amounts paid out in compensation for “failure/delay diagnosis” claims in 2014/2015.

Department Of Health 36
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust 26
Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust 22
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation 1 22
Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust 19
York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 19
United Lincolnshire Hospital NHS Trust 19

The Department of Health appears in the top position as it takes responsibility for claims against NHS facilities that have closed or claims that cannot be attributed to a particular trust.

As the table shows, with 26 claims, the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust is the individual hospital that settled the highest number of “failure/delay diagnosis” claims.

Which Hospitals Ranked Highest For ‘Wrong Diagnosis’ Claims?

The Liverpool Women’s Hospital received the highest number of claims for incorrect diagnosis- 46 claims in total.

Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 46
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust 25
Department of Health 4
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust 3
Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 3
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 3

According to the table, the total number amounted to 84. However, it must be noted that these figures only reflect misdiagnosis compensation claims brought against an NHS hospital only. It does not include claims against GPs or Surgeons and other Healthcare providers in Primary Health Care.

What this implies is that there are most likely to be other misdiagnosis cases which:

  • The victims did not bring claims against the NHS
  • Are against primary health care providers and other allied health professionals which were not captured in the tables above
  • The patient is not yet aware that their condition was misdiagnosed
  • Are against privately owned hospitals

The NHSLA recorded 1789 cases of individuals suing the NHS for misdiagnosis in 2017/18. Of this number, medical negligence as a result of failure or delay in treatment was 1,100 cases while there were 679 misdiagnosis claims in the UK.

Suing the NHS for Misdiagnosis

Suing the NHS for Misdiagnosis is never an easy task but with the best medical malpractice lawyers, you can be sure that your misdiagnosis claims in the UK wilng l be handled competently and you will receive the best legal representation for best misdiagnosis compensation amounts.

Examples of NHS Misdiagnosis

Before suing a hospital to claim medical negligence for misdiagnosis, it is important to know what forms of misdiagnosis exist. These include:

  • Wrong diagnosis – This refers to when a medical professional diagnoses you with a wrong illness. This illness may be more serious or far less serious than what you are suffering. Wrong diagnoses are dangerous as they could mean that you are given the wrong treatment. For cases like this, when making an NHS misdiagnosis compensation claim , you can as well claim for the emotional distress such wrong misdiagnosis has caused you asides others.
  • Late diagnosis – This of course refers to a situation where the correct medical condition of the patient is rightly diagnosed after several years or months by which time the chances of survival are either greatly reduced or are non-existent. Late diagnosis also means that you will need a more aggressive treatment procedure (for example: in cases of cancer misdiagnosis) or need a more serious (major) surgery to have a chance to be cured. It also means that your treatment will take more time than necessary.
  • Failure to diagnose – Here is a case of completely missed diagnosis, where your condition is not detected by the doctor meaning that you don’t get any treatment at all. Here, you continue to suffer as the ailment continues to spread becoming more difficult or impossible to treat. In many cases, this has led to the untimely death of the individual.

For scenarios such as these, you are entitled to make GP negligence claims for misdiagnosis or sue for hospital negligence where the negligent act cuts across several departments in the hospital.

How Can I Prove Medical Misdiagnosis Claims in the UK

To prove your medical misdiagnosis claims in the UK, you will need to establish the following:

  • That a relationship between you and the medical professional existed which means that medical personnel owed you a duty of care.
  • That the medical professional acted negligently and as such failed in his or her duty of care to you.
  • That the negligent act caused you pain, suffering, or made your condition worse.
  • Additionally, the injury, pain and trauma you have suffered have had serious impacts on your quality of life and general wellbeing.

Our NHS Solicitors can assist you to establish the existence of these vital areas to help you make a successful claim against the NHS for negligence.

What Documents Do I Need To Prove My NHS Misdiagnosis Claims?

The following documents will be required to successfully prove your medical negligence compensation claims.

  • Comprehensive statements with details of medical appointments dates, the GP or Doctor who was in charge of your case, what diagnosis or misdiagnosis was made, harm or injury suffered as a result of the misdiagnosis, the impact of the injury suffered on your daily life, and other relevant information.
  • In the case that the victim is dead, you will also state how the events transpired leading to the death of your loved one.
  • Medical reports, test results and scans
  • Witness statements from family or close friends
  • Evidence of financial losses incurred due to the negligent treatment (including both past and present financial losses)
  • Photographs and pictures showing the extent of damage (injury)
  • Medical Report from an Independent Medical Expert assigned to perform medical examinations on you to ascertain the severity of harm.

Suing a hospital like the NHS for misdiagnosis requires expertise in the area of clinical negligence compensation claims. It requires the best medical negligence solicitors to help you make NHS negligence claims against doctors or other medical professionals responsible for the harm you have suffered. Our NHS negligence solicitors will provide you with expert legal advice on how to sue for medical malpractice against the NHS or any other privately-owned hospital.

NHS Misdiagnosis Complaints Procedure

As a rule, you have a period of 12months to express your displeasure by way of complaints to the NHS for acts of negligence. The response you receive from Complaints can help you to understand what happened and also help you build your evidence to make a claim. Your complaints can be addressed to your GP/ the doctor responsible, the Practice Manager or the NHS Governing Body.

In 2018/2019, 208,924 complaints letters were written against the NHS for medical negligence. Therefore, feel free to make complaints as it is not out of place to do so. It should be noted that making complaints does not pause the time frame for making claims. This means that this should be wrapped up as quickly as possible to begin the actual claims if you desire to do so.

What Should I Include In My Complaint Letter?

In writing a letter of complaint to the NHS, you will do well to include the following:

  • The main subject of your complaint or what you are dissatisfied with
  • The GP or healthcare provider involved in your diagnosis and treatment
  • The type of diagnosis or treatment you received, at what point you received them and any other relevant timelines of events
  • Your queries and the explanations you seek
  • Also include how you would like to be contacted as well as the form of reply you would want- verbally (a face-to-face meeting) or as a written formal letter of apology.

If you are making a complaint on behalf of another, include an authorization letter allowing you to do so. For cases where the victim is dead, you will provide proof that you are the next of kin or you obtained permission to act on behalf of the next of kin. The NHS Patient Advice and Liaison Services can guide you on how to make NHS complaints.

What Do I Do If My Complaint Was Not Handled To My Satisfaction?

The next step to take is to write to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) if you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint to the NHS. The Ombudsman, being an independent body from the NHS and Government, will require that you provide your original complaint made to the NHS, the response to your complaint, and other details relevant to your case.

They will require these to make their investigations. Consequently, it is important to keep these documents safe as they will be vital should you decide to make claims.

The Ombudsman provides guidelines on how to make complaints on their website.

Hospital Complaints Compensation For NHS Misdiagnosis

Complaints do not usually lead to compensation rather claims do. Therefore, if you make a complaint, you are most likely to receive either an apology or an explanation to what you perceived to be medical negligence. To get compensation, you will need to meet your lawyer to help you make hospital negligence claims.

We therefore encourage you to contact us as our NHS solicitors are ready to guide you on how to claim for hospital negligence.

Medical Negligence Claims Process For NHS Misdiagnosis

The process of how to file a medical malpractice claim is briefly outlined below:

  • Contact Your Lawyer
  • Fund Your Claim
  • Gathering Facts and Evidence
  • Establishing Liability
  • Negotiations and Settlement Payment
  1. Contact Your Lawyer: For how to start a medical negligence claim for misdiagnosis, you will need to Speak to your lawyer for legal advice on how to make GP negligence claims or hospital negligence claims as the case may be. We will assign a lawyer to you who will listen to you and determine if you have a case or not as well as the chances of winning.
  2. Fund Your Claim: The next step is to fund your claims to help facilitate access to vital documents and pay for other legal costs incurred while handling the case. The following funding types exist:
    • Legal Aid
    • Legal Expenses or Before the Event Insurance (BTE)
    • Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win No Fee Agreement)
    • Trade Union Funding
    • Private Funding

    Our lawyers will help you understand each funding type and assist you make a choice for your claim.

  3. Gathering Facts and Evidence: Of course, this is a very vital part of the claims process. Our NHS solicitors can assist you access and gather documents, information, and facts to be used as evidence for your claims if you are unable to bring them yourself.
  4. Establishing Liability:After due investigations, we will write a “letter of claim” to the NHS Resolution (NHSR) which is the body that legally represents the NHS when claims are brought against it. Our aim is to get them to acknowledge their fault and accept their wrongdoing. They will issue a response and as soon as they accept liability, we will secure interim payments for you if you need to go for further medical care for the injuries or harm you have suffered. If liability is denied, settling the case will take longer but we will do our very best to see that they accept liability even if it needs us to make more investigations and present more evidence.
  5. Negotiations and Settlement Payment: As soon as we can establish liability, both parties will negotiate a favorable settlement payout taking into consideration several factors. The final compensation money is paid and an earlier agreed percentage, usually 25% is deducted as a “success fee” if we agree to undertake your claims under our No Win No Fee medical negligence funding type against NHS.
Your compensation for hospital negligence for misdiagnosis will depend on the following factors:
  • The circumstances surrounding the misdiagnosis and the peculiarity of your case
  • Overall severity of harm caused by the misdiagnosis
  • The prognosis for the future
  • Effect of the misdiagnosis and harm suffered on life expectancy
  • Costs of medical appointments, treatments, and travel expenses
  • Costs of medications and rehabilitative care including mobility aids and assistive devices
  • Financial loss (loss of earnings, pension including past, present and estimated future costs)
  • Acceptance of liability
  • Amount of care and support required going forward and costs of hiring caregivers
  • Lifestyle changes including accommodation adjustments

How Much Compensation For NHS Misdiagnosis?

Compensation for hospital negligence including misdiagnosis claims is not fixed but varies with each case. This is because the facts and circumstances surrounding each case of misdiagnosis are not the same. The severity of harm done, the effect of the misdiagnosis on quality of life and life expectancy as well as losses incurred for two cases will hardly be the same and therefore both cases will receive different compensation amounts.

Notwithstanding, using the medical negligence claims compensation calculator, our negligence claims Solicitors will give you a range of what you can expect as a settlement award. The NHSLA reports that the average compensation amount in the UK is £50,000. Settlement payouts can however range between £1,000 and several million pounds.

The table below gives a range of settlement payout for general damages according to the Judicial College Guidelines.

Head injuries Severe- £205,580 to £379,100
Moderate- £14,380 to £205,580
Minor- £2,070 to £11,980
Ear injuries £6,580 to £42,730
Eye injuries Up to £252,180 depending on the severity
Neck injuries Severe- £42,680 to £139,210
Moderate- £12,900 to £36,120
Minor- £2,300 to £7,410
Foot injuries Serious- £39,390 to £189,110
Moderate- £12,900 to £23,460
Injuries to Internal Organs- such as heart and lungs Between £60,000 to £100,000.
Severe brain Injury Between £180,000 to £300,000
Pelvic and Hip injury £50,000 to £85,000.
Amputation £65,000 to £200,000.
Pain and suffering £1,000 to £200,000.
Death £12,000 to £300,000
Negligence leading to Infertility £31,950 to £95,850
Spinal cord injuries £50,000 to £300,000.
Severe cases- above £1 million
Cerebral palsy values above £500,000
Dental Injuries £1,020 to £1600 for minor damaged teeth
£27,940 to £91,350 for very serious facial scarring
Emotional distress Between £1,000 to £45,000 depending on the severity

Time Limit For Medical Negligence for NHS Misdiagnosis

It is important that you know how long you have to sue for medical negligence for NHS misdiagnosis. Ideally, you have three years from the date of negligence (misdiagnosis in this case) or from the date you became aware of it to claim against the NHS.

The exceptions to this rule are:

Claims Involving A Child: here claims can be made until the individual clocks 21 as the three-year time frame begins to count from the 18th birthday.

Claims Involving Mentally or Physically Incapacitated persons- the time frame can be relaxed until when they can make claims. Alternatively, their loved ones or next of kin can make claims on their behalf.

Furthermore, in the very unfortunate incident that the individual is dead, the family can make claims for the individual with the three-year time frame beginning from the date of death.

No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitors

At NHS Negligence Claims, we undertake most of our medical negligence claims cases which includes our misdiagnosis claims under a no win no fee policy. Under our no win no fee against NHS, you can speak to us for free and if we are convinced that you have a strong case with good chances of winning, we will proceed to undertake your case with no financial implications to you. This means that you will not pay a penny even if the case is unsuccessful.

However, a success fee of 25% will be deducted from your total compensation award value if the case is successful.

Reach Our Team

We pride ourselves on having a very strong track record of representing persons of different backgrounds who have been victims of medical negligence and securing the best possible settlement payouts for them over the years.

NHS Negligence solicitors are friendly, dedicated and will present your claims in the strongest possible way ensuring that your claims are handled competently with utmost professionalism.

We also ensure that our clients can access any form of medical care or rehabilitation necessary for their recovery or where it is not possible, to improve their quality of life going forward.

Our lawyers are in various parts of the UK so we encourage you to reach out to us and we will assign our Solicitors closest to you to take up your claims. Call us on 08009993372.

No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitors


  • Q: Do the NHS settle out of Court? img

    A large majority of medical negligence cases are settled out of court. According to the NHS LA, only an average of 2% of medical negligence cases go to court. In fact, in 2018/19 for instance, only about 0.6% of claims went to a trial.

  • You can report a Doctor for misdiagnosis by writing to the NHS commissioner of services. Where you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can write to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).

    The next step after that would be to contact your lawyer to make a misdiagnosis claim.

  • Of Course, you can. However, to do this, you would need to prove that the Doctor misdiagnosed your condition and this caused you harm. You will require the services of a clinical negligence claims lawyer to assist you and give you the legal advice you need to file a lawsuit against a hospital for misdiagnosis.

  • If you are not satisfied with the diagnosis your doctor has made, you can take the following steps-

    • Seek another medical officer- you are entitled to seek a referral. Your doctor may not usually refer you unless you ask for that.
    • Make Complaints about your treatment- You can write a letter of complaint directly to the service provider such as a GP, surgeon, or the hospital. Alternatively, you can write to the NHS commissioner of services.
    • Take Legal Action- whilst your complaints may help you establish or understand the extent of harm done, making claims will be most appropriate to get a deserved compensation.
    • NHS Negligence claims solicitors are among the best medical negligence solicitors in the UK and will assist and support you in whatever way you need to make a claim.

  • Over the years, the amount paid by the NHS for medical negligence claims has risen exponentially. In 2014/15, the NHS paid £197.2m in compensation for misdiagnosis cases alone.

    In 2018/19, £1.778 billion was paid in compensation while that amount increased to £2.3Billion the following year. Due to this rise in compensation amounts, provisions for claims settlements were increased by £6.4 billion to £83.4 billion as of March 2019.

  • Absolutely! If your condition was misdiagnosed causing you harm, trauma or injury, you can claim against the staff whom you consulted with or against the NHS Trust in question.

  • Compensation amounts vary from one case to another but according to NHS records, the average compensation amount for medical negligence in the UK is £50,000 with compensation values ranging anywhere from £1,000 to several million pounds

  • The answer is simply yes. Misdiagnosis is considered a medical or clinical malpractice. Therefore, healthcare providers should ensure that they give acceptable levels of care to their patients and not put them in harm’s way by acts of negligence.

  • First step to take if you believe that you have been misdiagnosed at any point in the medical care you received is to contact a medical negligence solicitor who advocates on behalf of medical and NHS malpractice victims.

  • NHS Medical negligence claims usually take between 18months to 2years to settle. These are for non-complex cases where liability is accepted quickly.

    However, claims can last beyond this time frame especially if both parties fail to agree and the case goes to court. It may take as long as 3-5years to complete.

Get in touch! We can help with your claim!

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