Patient motivation to make a claim for clinical negligence

4th December 2018

Written by Sion Wynne, senior solicitor in the medical negligence department at Fletchers Solicitors

NHS Resolution recently published a report about research into the motivation of patients making legal claims for compensation in respect of clinical negligence.

It was prepared in response to observations made by the Public Accounts Committee that the NHS needed a better understanding of this.

The research found almost two thirds of respondents felt they were not given an explanation and less than one third  were given an apology.

The majority did not think that the healthcare provider had investigated initially and only a small number felt any actions were taken to prevent a similar incident happening again.

The majority rated the response, if they had made a complaint, as poor or very poor in terms of accuracy, empathy, speed and level of detail.

External and personal motivations were identified for considering pursuing a claim. The former include: being prompted by NHS staff or bodies to make a claim; advertising of ‘no win, no fee arrangements (but only a minority of interviewees stated that this was a direct influence); conversations with friends or family members, or colleagues at work and their reactions to the incident.

What were categorised as personal motivations included: preventing similar incidents happening to others; wanting an apology; getting a detailed explanation and investigation; holding clinicians to account; getting financial support to help cope with the future; frustration or anger with incident and/or complaint handling.

When seeking legal representation, people used known or previously used local solicitors or undertook internet searches. They reported the claims process was easy to proceed with once initiated.

The report concluded that research participants were, in general, not satisfied with the reactions of NHS staff following their incident or how their complaint was handled within the NHS.

There were personal motivations for making a claim, and external factors which prompted or even triggered, individuals to pursue a claim.

You can read the full report here: Behavioural insights into patient motivation to make a claim for clinical negligence

Further Reading…

Blog: The NHS and an Artificial Intelligence revolution

30th May 2019

Written by, Sadiya Zaib, Assistant Litigation Executive within Fletchers Solicitor’s Medical Negligence department. The NHS is on the cusp of a technological revolution. All over the world, innovation is shaping…

Comment: Hard-working professionals at stroke risk

24th June 2019

Fletchers Solicitor’s Medical Negligence Serious Injury Solicitor, Iain Dodd considers the latest study into stroke triggers is a timely reminder that healthy, hard-working people are also at potential risk. Iain’s…

You don't have to go through this alone - take the first step now

  • IIP - Investors in People
  • The Sunday Times Top 100 - Best Companies To Work For 2016
  • The Investors In People Awards 2016 - Winner
  • The Legal 500 - Leading Firm 2015
  • The Law Society - Clinical Negligence
  • The Lawyer UK200 - Listed Firm 2015
  • Top Ranked Leading Individual - Chambers UK 2019