NHS Never Event Claims

Reviewed by
Peter Rigby, Director of Medical Neglience

We've got your NHS Never Event claim covered

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NHS Never Events


Provisional NHS data suggests that, between April 2021 and February 2022, there were 379 serious incidents that appeared to meet the NHS definition of a Never Event. Never events occur when an error that was completely avoidable takes place. Whilst the NHS has a number of safety measures in place to stop these catastrophic events occurring, unfortunately they still do. 


Making an NHS Never Events claim


If you have been the victim of an NHS Never Event, our lawyers will work closely with you to collect the details of the incident, and work with medical professionals to build the best case. If you have been seriously and avoidably injured as a result of serious failings by those caring for you, we will pursue your claim for compensation and help you understand:


  • If you are able to claim compensation for an NHS Never Event
  • How much you may be entitled to if your claim is successful
  • The events surrounding your injury and how it happened
  • The support and rehabilitation services available to you 

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What is an NHS Never Event?


Never Events are serious, indefensible medical negligence incidents that should never occur. If all safety protocols are followed then, put simply, never events are events that should never have happened. The NHS itself uses the term ‘Never Events’ to refer to unacceptable situations where patients suffer harm, or even death, that could have been prevented. Medical staff are required to report these incidents to ensure that the NHS can continue to review safety procedures and work towards preventing any further incidents. 

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Types of NHS Never Events

We have acted for an extensive number of patients who have brought claims against the NHS. In the vast majority of cases patients have experienced one of the following events:


  • Wrong site surgery. For example: injections to the wrong body part; biopsies intended for another patient; removal of the wrong limb or organ. 


  • Retained foreign object following procedure. For example: failure to remove surgical equipment such as needles, guide wire, wire cutters from a patient’s body.


  • Wrong implant or prosthesis. For example: placing an implant in the wrong knee during knee surgery.


  • Administration of medication by the wrong route. For example: oral medication given intravenously (via vein). 


  • Incorrect administration of medication. For example: incorrect dosage of medicine.



  • Risk assessment failures. This can result in falls from poorly restricted windows or chest/neck entrapment in bed rails. 


When Never Events occur, they are recorded and submitted so that the extent of incidents can be reviewed. All patients are entitled to safe medical care. So whilst it can be daunting to speak up in these cases, it is vital to ensure that similar events do not happen again. 


How Do I know If I can Claim for an NHS Never Event?

We have represented many people who have experienced shocking incidents, so we understand the impact an avoidable accident can have on you and your family. The NHS has stringent guidelines in place to minimise the risk of these kinds of events. They publish an annual report to highlight areas of concern and to drive improvements. 

You will likely know almost straight away if you have suffered a never event as the consequences will be significant and the circumstances will be reported immediately by the healthcare team. In light of this, Never Events are usually indefensible and an NHS Trust will accept liability. The most recent NHS Never Event report shows that there were 28 serious incidents recorded that were not actually never events, and so we will still need to collect sufficient evidence to ensure we get the maximum amount of compensation for your claim.

Examples of cases we have taken on include:

  • An incision to the wrong side of the head
  • Carrying Out a procedure intended for another patient 
  • Retained scalpels or other surgical instruments
  • A transfusion using the wrong blood type
  • An incorrect dose of medication being prescribed leading to an overdose
  • Removal of organs such as ovaries or kidneys 

The consequences of NHS Never Events are varied, severe and sometimes life threatening. Which is why they are taken so seriously and why we work with you to get the recognition and support you need.


What Can I Expect?

Compensation for Never Events can be significant as the event itself was preventable and the impact can be life changing. Following a fall at hospital, our client was awarded over £300,000 after she was left unable to walk. Every Never Event will result in different consequences but compensation is most often awarded for any or all of the following:

  • A loss of mobility or a permanent disability
  • Loss of earnings or paid work
  • Changes to your home, car or living arrangements
  • The cost of ongoing care and rehabilitation
  • Pain and suffering
  • Counselling and therapy


Why Choose Patient Claim Line?

Our specialist team of medical negligence lawyers have over 400 years’ combined experience dealing with NHS claims including never event incidents. We have helped thousands of people access the compensation they deserve and we are the highest rated medical negligence lawyers on TrustPilot. We are here for you, to help you move on and rebuild your life after a devastating never event.


No Win No Fee Claims

We never expect you to pay anything up front. All of our medical negligence cases including never events are taken on a No Win No Fee basis. Only once your claim is successful will we be reimbursed for our work. We investigate every case thoroughly to make sure you get the absolute maximum figure you are entitled to.

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Why Choose Patient Claim Line for your NHS Never Event Claim?

Not just lawyers — medical negligence experts

Patient Claim Line was established in 2014 and consists of a team of medical lawyers specialising in medical negligence and misdiagnosis claims.

At Patient Claim Line we have more than 100 solicitors with combined experience of over 400 years and they will work on your behalf to achieve the best result possible for you.

It's not enough to use a solicitor who sometimes covers medical negligence. You need someone who knows this area through and through. That is what the solicitors here at Patient Claim Line do. They deal exclusively in this area of law and are experts in the field.

Frequently asked questions about NHS Never Event Claims

Our expert legal team answer your questions about making an NHS Never Event Claim


Meet our medical negligence team

Peter Rigby

Peter Rigby
Director of Medical Negligence

Peter leads the Medical Negligence Serious Injury department, which now boasts some of our most knowledgeable, dedicated and hardworking team members.

Peter is dedicated to supporting victims of catastrophic medical negligence injuries and endeavours to provide a clear and coherent approach to claims. He recognises the effects serious injuries can have and therefore ensures his customers’ need for support is met. Peter also has a vast amount of experience working with customers who have been injured abroad and is able to act under international law to provide the best outcomes.

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Christian Beadell

Christian Beadell
Partner, Head of Strategy and Legal Operations

Christian is Head of Medical Negligence at Patient Claim Line and has specialised in clinical negligence claims since qualifying in 1998; having dealt with a wide variety of claims throughout his career. He is also featured in the Legal 500 as a recommended claimant solicitor in the North West.

Christian qualified as a solicitor in 1998, specialising in clinical negligence. From 2010 onward he has had a particular interest in gynaecological and urogynaecological claims, having represented several hundred claimants in the George Rowland Litigation against the Liverpool Women’s and Aintree Hospitals. This investigated the treatment given to women in the Merseyside area over several decades, and in particular focused on the introduction and development of mesh into the UK in both the treatment of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. The development of this area involved pursuing claims under a unique ADR protocol with the NHS and also looking to develop the current thinking on the valuation of compensation for complex urinary symptoms. He has successfully recovered hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation on behalf of my clients.

Christian was also involved in setting up and chairing a Claimant Support Group for those involved in the Rowland litigation, which provided a discussion forum for the many women who were left isolated and damaged by negligent gynaecological treatment. He now co-ordinates the firm’s mesh claims and has delivered training and commented extensively on the medico-legal implications of urogynaecological / mesh complications. He is a member of APIL, Liverpool Law Society and Legal 500 recommended.

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Francesca Paul

Francesca Paul
Associate Solicitor

Francesca Paul is an Associate, Senior Solicitor and Team Leader within the Clinical Negligence Department.  She is one of the driving Solicitors in the Group Litigation Team dealing with this niche and specialist area of work that Fletchers undertakes.   

Francesca previously worked in Nottingham, dealing with Group Action work.  She now works at Fletchers, bringing with her those years of experience heading up a team of 10 people.  Francesca is involved in the early identification of potential new Group Litigation Work and analyses information from the collective pool of new enquiries into the business, of which there are hundreds per week looking for hot spots or recurrent issues which might suggest a potential pool of Claimants.   

One of the highlights for Francesca and her team is that they have successfully recovered over a million pounds in compensation for clients who have received treatment from a single orthopaedic surgeon who was operating in the Colchester area.  Her role requires a specific set of skills, patience and a forensic approach to detail whilst being able to see the wider picture.   

Francesca has previously acted for a claimant in a case that reached the Supreme Court in the case of NA v Nottinghamshire County Council. 

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Sion Wynne

Sion Wynne
Senior Solicitor

Sion is a team leader and senior solicitor with many years’ experience in dealing with a wide range of medical specialisms and different types of injuries. He is an experienced medical negligence solicitor and manages a team of lawyers within our department.

Sion joined Fletchers in 2018 as a Team Leader in the Medical Negligence Department. Throughout his 24 year legal career, he has specialised in conducting medical negligence claims on behalf of Claimants, previously working for other highly ranked leading firms in the field.

He has undertaken claims covering the full spectrum of medical specialisms, clinical settings, categories of defendant and types of negligent medical care and treatment.
These include high value and complex maximum severity cases, such as those involving limb amputations and permanent neurological injuries.

Sion is experienced at representing bereaved families at inquests and has a particular interest in fatal accident claims.


Notable Cases

JI v Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust: £1.25m recovered for client left paraplegic after spinal anaesthesia.

RS v Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: £150,000 recovered for client in respect of a failure to recognise complications after a kidney transplant, where her father was the donor.

JN v MA: £100,000 recovered for a client who suffered 2 years persistent pain and disability after knee replacement surgery undertaken as a private patient.

CS v Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust: £400,000 recovered for a child who sustained Erb’s palsy during her delivery.

WO’C (Deceased) v Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; £450,000 recovered for the family of the deceased who died as a result of a delay in diagnosing a brain tumour.


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Case Study

Vincent's Story

"He's always there for us"

At the age of 2 we noticed our son Vincent had trouble with his hearing. We had this testing over a number of years and were repeatedly told there was nothing wrong.

Initially we thought this was a speech and language problem, this wasn't the case. It took 4 to 5 years of assessments, with the constant response that there was nothing wrong with his hearing. A different test was them carried on Vincent overnight where it was found he was profoundly deaf.

After years of frustration we were finally able to provide Vincent with the support he required and received an implant. This has enable Vincent to be able to hear. The support from our solicitors has enabled to to gain access to specialist which have supported Vincent in closing the gap in his speech he lost out on to his peers.

You don’t have to go through this alone – take the first step now