Medical Negligence

NHS Compensation Claims

May 15, 2024
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In our healthcare system, the National Health Service (NHS) holds a duty of care towards its patients, ensuring their well-being and safety. However, there are unfortunate instances where medical negligence occurs, leading to harm or injury. In such cases, individuals have the right to seek compensation for the damages they’ve endured due to this negligence. The purpose of the article is to inform readers about their rights in these situations. It delves into the specifics of how individuals can pursue compensation and emphasises the importance of obtaining rightful compensation to aid in recovery and ensure accountability within the healthcare system. 

 

What is NHS medical negligence? 

 

NHS medical negligence occurs when healthcare professionals fail to meet the standard of care expected of them, resulting in harm or injury to patients. Legally, negligence is determined by whether the healthcare provider breached their duty of care towards the patient, causing harm that could have been reasonably prevented. This breach may involve errors in diagnosis, treatment, or communication. The implications of medical negligence can be profound, affecting patient care and outcomes significantly. It can lead to prolonged suffering, worsened health conditions, or even loss of life.  Recognising and addressing instances of medical negligence is crucial for maintaining trust in the healthcare system and ensuring that patients receive the standard of care they deserve. 

 

What types of claims can I make? 

 NHS medical negligence claims cover a wide range of incidents that result in harm or injury to patients. These include, but are not limited to, misdiagnosis, surgical errors, birth injuries, and amputation negligence. While the specifics of each case may vary, they consistently impact patients’ lives and their right to claim compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial consequences they endure as a result of medical negligence. 

 

Medical negligence claims differ from case to case, and the final compensation figure varies depending on factors such as the severity of the injury, the impact on the patient’s life, and the level of negligence involved, ensuring that compensation is tailored to the individual circumstances of each claim. 

 

 

Misdiagnosis claims 

Misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare provider fails to accurately diagnose a medical condition, leading to incorrect treatment or delayed intervention. An example of a misdiagnosis claim our medical negligence team have handled is helping a man secure £100K in compensation after he lost his ear due to skin cancer misdiagnosis. 

 

 

Surgical error claims 

Surgical errors encompass mistakes made during surgical procedures, such as operating on the wrong body part or leaving surgical instruments inside the patient. In the past our expert team have helped secure a £7million compensation settlement following our client suffering life-changing brain injuries caused by admitted surgical negligence. 

 

 

Birth injury claims 

Birth injury negligence refers to instances where harm or injury occurs to the baby or mother during childbirth due to medical negligence, such as errors in prenatal care, improper use of delivery instruments, or failure to respond appropriately to complications during labour and delivery. In the past, our team have helped . 

 

Amputation claims 

Amputation negligence refers to cases where surgical procedures involving the removal of limbs or body parts are performed incorrectly, unnecessarily, or without proper consent, often resulting from surgical errors, misdiagnosis, or inadequate pre-operative assessment. Previously, our team has successfully secured £10.5 million in compensation for a client who suffered an unnecessary amputation following a delayed meningitis diagnosis. 

 

Is there a time limit to making an NHS compensation claim? 

It’s crucial to understand the statutory time limits associated with making an NHS compensation claim, as outlined by law. Typically, individuals have three years (or in a case of a child, they will have three years after their 18th birthday) from the date of the incident or from when they became aware of the negligence to initiate their claim. This time frame underscores the importance of acting promptly to seek compensation for any harm or injury suffered due to medical negligence within the NHS. Waiting too long to pursue a claim can lead to complications and potentially result in the claim being barred by the statute of limitations, which means you will not be able to bring a claim in respect of the negligence alleged. Therefore, it’s essential for individuals to seek legal advice promptly if they believe they have grounds for a compensation claim against the NHS, ensuring they have adequate time to gather evidence and pursue rightful compensation. 

Evidence to make a claim 

  

When pursuing an NHS compensation claim, gathering comprehensive evidence is crucial to support the case effectively. Essential types of evidence include medical records detailing the treatment received, any relevant correspondence, witness statements from individuals who observed the incident or its aftermath, and expert testimonies from medical professionals providing insights into the standard of care and any deviations from it. These pieces of evidence play a vital role in establishing the negligence claim and demonstrating the harm or injury suffered due to medical malpractice within the NHS. By obtaining strong evidence, claimants can strengthen their case and increase their chances of obtaining rightful compensation for the injuries and any losses suffered. 

What is the process to make a claim? 

  

The process of an NHS compensation claim involves several key steps: 

  

  1. Initial Enquiry: Upon submitting your enquiry, our specialists will ask about your experience and its effects on you, allowing us to gain a comprehensive understanding of your situation.

  

  1. Case Evaluation: Our medical negligence experts will assess your case to determine the merits of the claim. Leveraging our expertise, we offer immediate advice based on our evaluation.

  

  1. Obtaining: If your case meets the necessary criteria, our team will request your medical records from your GP and hospital. Furthermore, we will begin gathering evidence to support your claim.

  

  1. Medical and Expert Assessment: An independent report will be commissioned to assess whether there was a breach of duty (substandard care) resulting in your injuries. Additionally, our experts will evaluate your condition, any future prognosis, and the impact of your injuries on your life.

  

  1. Negotiation: We will engage in negotiations with the responsible party to pursue compensation for any injuries suffered and loses incurred both past and future (if appropriate). Should negotiations prove unsuccessful, we will consider issuing court proceedings for the court to decide whether the care provided was negligent (substandard) and the value of any compensation that you are to receive.

  

  1. Compensation: Upon successful negotiation, your compensation will be secured, providing you with the means to move forward from your injuries and towards recovery.

  

Claimants can expect dedicated support from our solicitors specialising in medical negligence, guiding them through every step of the claims process with compassion and expertise. 

  

If a child is under 18 years, any settlement reached will have to be approved by the court and the money paid in to the court funds office until the child is 18. In some circumstances the compensation can be paid into the child’s account. 

 

 

How much is the average payout for an NHS compensation claim? 

 Compensation amounts in medical negligence claims are determined by various factors, with the severity of harm and its impact on the claimant’s life playing a significant role. The compensation aims to address not only the physical injuries suffered but also the emotional and financial consequences endured by the claimant. Factors such as the extent of the injury, the need for ongoing medical treatment or rehabilitation, loss of earnings due to inability to work, and any long-term disabilities or impairments are carefully considered in assessing the compensation amount. Additionally, compensation may also account for the pain and suffering experienced by the claimant as a result of the negligence. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that the compensation awarded adequately reflects the damages suffered by the claimant and helps them rebuild their life to the fullest extent possible. However, as mentioned above, there is variability on the compensation figure and it is dependent on individual circumstances. 

 

In the past our expert team has secured compensation for clients in  claims such as: 

 

 

Make a NHS compensation claim with Fletchers Solicitors 

If you believe you have suffered harm or injury due to NHS medical negligence, don’t hesitate to take action. Contacting our experienced medical negligence solicitors can provide you with the guidance and support you need to pursue your compensation claim. Your rights matter and seeking justice for any wrongdoing is essential for both accountability and your own well-being. Reach out today to explore your options and take the first step towards obtaining the compensation you deserve. 

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