There is no doubt that the NHS provides excellent service to millions of patients every year. However, sometimes errors occur and they can change the lives of those affected and their families. Can I sue the NHS for negligence?
Medical negligence claims have increased since non-win contracts were introduced because lawyers are now advertising on business and even advertising in NHS lounges. Bonanza for lawyers was unusual: today’s report found that 61% of successful cases legal costs are higher than compensation paid.
The main question is: do we really want the NHS to pay huge sums, mainly to lawyers, when it would be better to spend that money on the service itself? Two children born at the same time in the same ward, both with cerebral palsy, both have identical needs and rights. But if one set of parents can prove medical neglect, and the other must accept the “act of God”, one family can receive a huge payment to help improve this child’s life, and the other not much. High claims for childbirth injuries have increased by 9% per year over the past decade.
Can I sue the person who provided me with medical care?
The short answer is … maybe. There are a few things to consider before determining whether you have a basis for making a claim. First of all, it is important to determine whether it is better to deal with what you are worried about by making a complaint. If you are complaining about your treatment or care in the hospital, but you do not think that this has worsened your injuries or health, it is probably best to solve this problem.
The NHS has a well-established complaint procedure that aims to investigate any complaints and attempt to clarify, but is not always able to solve the problem. All NHS complaints are dealt with by the NHS Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), PALS is not responsible for disciplining or dismissing doctors, nor for granting compensation.
Private healthcare providers do not have such a complex complaint procedure, but they do have one and you should ask for a copy of their procedure directly from them. If you make a complaint to PALS about NHS care, you usually have 12 months from the date of care to file a complaint. (More information about PALS and NHS complaints can be found here.) We advise patients to be cautious about the time limits because there is a limited time to make a claim (see the limitation period below). If you’re unsure, contact us and we’ll provide further guidance.
Making a complaint does not prevent you from making a claim, but if you think you have suffered personal injury, deterioration of health due to a particular act or omission, you may have a claim for clinical negligence. If you think you deserve to be compensated for negligence or negligence and its impact on your health and well-being, you must seek advice on bringing a case through a medical negligence claim.
Find a lawyer
If you want to sue the NHS, you need the best legal help you can find. When the burden of proof lies with you, not the NHS, you need to make sure that you work with the most qualified and experienced lawyers in the industry.