Claiming against the NHS
The NHS is a great publicly funded health care system, however, mistakes can happen. If you or a loved one have been let down by a medical professional it could lead to drastic changes to your life and unfortunately, taking legal action is often the only way to get anyone to accept something has happened, and make them put things right for you and for others in the future. Patient Claim Line is here to help.
No matter who it is, and how big the organisation, if you’ve been mistreated we will ensure you have a voice and you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
We know it can be overwhelming dealing with large institutions like the NHS so we are here to take that pressure off you. Our expert team of lawyers will speak to you for free to find out what happened and what we can do to make it right. There is no obligation and we work on a no win no fee basis.
It all starts with one call.
What kind of claims can I make against the NHS?
The NHS deals with a wide range of services, from prescriptions, to births, to complex surgeries. Within those services, there are many different types of care that are provided. Rather than think about what type of care you received, it is much better to consider the standard of care received.
Regardless of what service the NHS provides, they owe you a duty of care to provide that service to an expected standard. If you feel the service has fallen below that standard, no matter whether it was a wrong prescription, a botched surgery, or a misdiagnosis, if you have suffered as a result you may have a claim.
For a claim to be successful, that poor care or mistake has to be considered ‘negligent’. That is where we come in. We can assess what happened in your case, no matter what area of the NHS it was in, and use our years of experience to give you an answer as to whether we believe what happened may be deemed negligent and worth pursuing a claim for.
How does it work?
No matter whether the claim is private or through the NHS, our simple 6 step process to justice still applies. For more information, click here.
What if I am still having treatment on the NHS?
It is quite common for people to contact us when they are still undergoing NHS treatment. Usually when a mistake is made, this causes further injury and treatment is needed, so it’s fairly standard for people to approach us to start their case, but still require care from the NHS to fix what has happened.
Doctors and hospitals have to continue to treat patients professionally at all times, regardless of whether any complaints or claims are made. The NHS cannot refuse to treat you in the future just because you have started a claim, and cannot refuse ongoing treatment if you want to stay with the same doctor. Most doctors are okay with a second opinion, and indeed care often improves following a claim.
What do I need to do to sue the NHS?
In short, you simply need to contact us for advice. That is the first step of the process and we can then take it from there. Being Medical Negligence specialists, we are very experienced in dealing with claims against the NHS – aside from some private treatment cases, it is all we do.
It is not necessary to have made a formal complaint to the NHS first, although if you have that’s ok and we may ask to see a copy of any complaint letters and responses. If the case involves a fatality, we may need some of the details from the death certificate and enquire as to whether there is a will.
We will always obtain all medical records for you if we take on the case, but often people have various records themselves so we may request copies of those to help with the process. Our advice would be to pull together any documentation you already have, and then contact us for advice. However, even if you don’t have any documentation, it is still worth giving us a call if you feel there may be a claim.
Is there a time limit to my claim?
The usual time limit for making a claim against the NHS, or any medical negligence claim, is three years from the date that you first became aware that a mistake may have been made. Sometimes it is difficult to know exactly when that date is, especially if there has been a lot of treatment. Again, that is something we can advise you on, and if you are out of time, it will not have cost you anything to find out.
Sometimes, the time limit is longer, for example when it involves a child or someone who lacks mental capacity. Again, it is always worth getting some free advice from our team.
How long does it take?
Unlike a car accident, which is often very straight forward and follows a set formula, Medical Negligence cases are all very different. A case involving a wrong prescription can be dealt with pretty quickly, whereas an injury suffered at birth can take a long time to resolve, while the legal team assess all the child’s needs and ensures they get the best possible result. It is therefore not possible to summarise how long a claim against the NHS takes, but again this is something we can provide advice on further down the line, when our team knows a bit more about what happened. We treat each case, and each client, as an individual.
How much compensation am I likely to get?
Claims against the NHS can happen in a wide variety of ways, meaning no two injuries would be the same. Also, medical mistakes can impact people in many different ways, including injuries to things like internal organs. We would say that for a proper Medical Negligence specialist, it is impossible to give customers a value without speaking to them first.
That’s a big reason why we offer free advice to anyone who believes they may have a claim against the NHS. We believe it is much better to give a specialist like us a call, and we can give you better advice on whether you have a case and any potential value, once we know more about you, and crucially, about what happened. While we cannot give you a valuation online, we can assure our customers that our dedicated medical legal team will ensure you get the maximum compensation that you deserve.
What happens if I win my case?
If you win your case you will receive compensation for your pain and suffering as well as any recovered out of pocket losses such as loss of earnings, expenses etc. and any future treatment or care costs that you may be entitled to. Any final sum will always be agreed with you first.
Our costs are paid by the other side, and we will charge you a ‘success fee’ which is percentage deducted from your damages at the end of the case. It’s always a fixed percentage and we always give you full clarity. We can provide more details of this when we have spoken to you and we know more about your case. During the case we will never ask for any upfront payments, and if your case is unsuccessful and you have cooperated, you will walk away without having to pay anything. We never leave clients out of pocket.
The NHSLA, who deal with claims on behalf of the NHS, report back to the NHS on what happened in your case and the NHS then has a duty to consider those circumstances and consider measures to try to prevent that same thing from happening again.