As a public health organisation, the National Health Service (NHS) has a duty of care towards all its patients. If this duty of care is breached and results in patient harm or injury, the affected individual may consider making an NHS negligence claim.
Contact our NHS claim solicitors on 0333 3580 583 or fill out our form for specialist legal assistance. At Friends Legal, we’re committed to providing you with the transparent and honest advice you need.
Claiming Against the NHS
Clinical negligence occurs when a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or surgeon, fails to deliver the standard of care expected. The consequences of medical negligence can be severe, ranging from physical pain and suffering to long-term disabilities or even death.
Types of NHS Medical Negligence Claims
Some common negligence claims made against the NHS include, but are not limited to:
- Doctor negligence claims: Mistakes made by GPs or specialists, such as failure to refer, poor aftercare, and prescription errors.
- Surgical negligence claims: Serious and preventable errors made during surgery (sometimes referred to as ‘Never Events’), including operating on the wrong part of the body or leaving foreign objects inside the patient.
- Misdiagnosis claims: When a healthcare professional fails to correctly diagnose a medical condition or delays the diagnosis, which results in harm or a worsened prognosis.
- Delayed treatment claims: Unwarranted delays that impact the effectiveness of treatment. Reasons could include long waiting times for surgery, hospital administration errors, or inadequate staffing and resources.
- Childbirth negligence claims: Failures during childbirth, such as improper monitoring of the mother or baby, mishandling of instruments, or delayed intervention.
These are just a few examples of claims someone can bring against the NHS. If you or someone you know has suffered any of the above circumstances, our clinical negligence team specialises in NHS malpractice and can offer you a wealth of experience and support.
The Process of Claiming Against the NHS
Pursuing a clinical negligence claim against the NHS can be daunting. By following the below steps, you can ensure your claim has the best chance of success.
Before initiating an NHS negligence claim, you must file a complaint that outlines your experience with the NHS body involved. Filing a complaint gives the NHS an opportunity to acknowledge your concerns and is often a required step before any legal action. We can guide you through this process to ensure your complaint clearly details the issues you’ve faced.
Next, we will assess the merits of your case and determine if you have a valid claim. If you do, our medical negligence lawyers will assist you in gathering the necessary evidence to support your claim. Once the evidence has been collected, we will help you prepare a formal claim and submit it to the NHS. The NHS will then have a specified timeframe to respond to your claim.
It’s important to note that most NHS negligence claims are settled out of court through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution methods. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, your case may proceed to court.
Establishing Negligence in an NHS Negligence Claim
Gathering sufficient evidence is vital in a medical negligence claim against the NHS. This evidence will be used to support your case and establish the healthcare professional’s breach of duty of care and the harm you suffered.
The following types of evidence are commonly relied upon in clinical negligence claims:
- Medical records
- Witness statements
- Expert opinions
- Photographs or videos
If something goes wrong when you’re under the care of the NHS, it can be frightening to know what to do next. At Friends Legal, we strive not to make a difficult time any more stressful. We will explain each step of the claims process and be by your side from start to finish.
NHS Compensation Claims
The compensation awarded for NHS negligence claims can vary based on the severity of the injury and its impact on the patient’s life. While minor injuries might result in compensation of a few thousand pounds, serious negligence cases could reach into the millions.
“NHS Scotland spent £163 million on compensation between 2018-2022”
If you’ve experienced negligence at the hands of an NHS medical professional, it’s crucial that you know and understand your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for any pain, suffering, and financial losses you’ve incurred as a result.
Last year, there were 363 clinical negligence cases initiated in Scotland alone, totalling nearly £106 million. Of the payments made, 13 of them exceeded £1 million [CNORIS]. To ensure your claim has the best chance of success, get in touch with our clinical negligence solicitors today.
No Win, No Fee Claims Against the NHS
Friends Legal believe in fair and accessible legal support for all. That is why we offer a ‘No Win, No Fee‘ arrangement for our NHS clinical negligence clients. We are entirely client-focused and want to help you pursue your claim without financial risk or worry. If you’ve suffered due to NHS negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Time Limits For NHS Negligence Claims
In Scotland, the standard time limit for filing a negligence claim is three years from the date of knowledge. It’s crucial that you act quickly and seek legal advice from an expert NHS claims team as soon as possible.
Thinking About Suing NHS for Negligence? — Contact Our Medical Negligence Lawyers Now
Clinical negligence can have devastating consequences for patients and their families. If you believe an NHS healthcare professional has been negligent towards you or a loved one, Friends Legal are on hand to take immediate legal action. Call on 0333 3580 583 or complete our form, and we’ll get back to you without delay.