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The NHS has a responsibility to provide safe medical care to its patients. The NHS as a whole, and the individual health professionals who work for it, must provide care that is of an acceptable standard.
Where a patient is seriously injured by negligent NHS care, they are entitled to compensation for their injury and its financial consequences. The NHS has a legal responsibility to compensate those it harms when NHS treatment falls below acceptable standards of care.
NHS negligence is substandard treatment provided by medical professionals and others for whose work the NHS is responsible. NHS negligence occurs through both human and system errors resulting in delays in treatment, misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment, mistakes in care provision and injury.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or are permanently disabled as a result of NHS negligence, then you may be entitled to claim compensation for the injuries and the financial consequences of that injury.
Our expert solicitors can help you or a loved one make a NHS negligence claim if an injury or disability has been sustained as a result of medical negligence.
To help support your NHS negligence claim, we will obtain medical records, any investigation documentation and treatment protocols. We will then take a detailed witness statement from you and others as necessary and instruct independent medical experts to consider the care you received and the consequences for you of the failings in your care.
The defendant may accept responsibility for your injury as a result of NHS negligence, and we may be able to negotiate the appropriate compensation award at this point.
If settlement is not achieved, we will start court proceedings and take your case towards trial keeping the defendant under pressure to agree settlement of your NHS claim. Over 95% of cases succeed without the need for trial but every case is prepared on the basis that a judge will need to decide all the issues in your claim that the defendant has not admitted.
We operate on a Conditional Fee Agreement (“no win no fee”). This means that you will not have to pay anything upfront and will only pay if your claim is successful.
Our extensive guide on making a medical negligence claim explains the whole process.
Our clients receive the highest standards of advice and representation and are always treated with compassion, outstanding care and understanding of the physical, emotional, psychological and financial impact that life-changing injury can have upon their lives.
Call our specialist legal teams Monday - Friday, 9:00 - 17.30 for free, no obligation advice.
Complete our simple form to start your claim and get a call back back from our expert legal team.
In most cases, the fact that hospital staff or a GP says sorry after something goes wrong is not the same as admitting liability. Saying sorry is a normal, caring response when something goes wrong, and NHS staff are expected to say sorry. Their obligation to say sorry comes from:
In a clinical negligence claim, even after the NHS admits that the patient’s care was negligent, that is not enough to succeed with a compensation claim. A full admission of liability entitling the patient to compensation must also admit that the negligent care caused the injury suffered or made it significantly worse.
For a successful claim, we must be able to prove that your caregiver did not meet the NHS standards and that the negligence was directly linked to your injury. We are experts at gathering the necessary evidence to investigate and prove NHS liability for each client’s claim.
This evidence can include:
If our own investigations reveal clear evidence of negligence, we may ask NHS Resolution to admit liability, to save time and money and avoid further unnecessary investigations. If NHS Resolution admit full liability for our client’s injuries, then we:
If NHS Resolution refuse to admit liability, we instruct independent medical experts in the relevant area of medicine to examine the evidence and report on the standard of our client’s NHS care.
Where the claim is defended, this important step must take place before we can begin court proceedings and pursue the claim, if necessary, to trial.
The experts will base their opinions on:
We may need to obtain reports from more than one expert depending on the type of treatment, injury and resulting disability. We may need separate experts to report on:
You have 3 years from the date of your injury, or the date you realised your treatment caused the injury.
The NHS is defended in medical negligence cases by NHS Resolution. NHS Resolution also appoints its own solicitors to represent the NHS in negligence claims.
Occasionally, NHS Resolution and its lawyers contact the parents of babies who have suffered brain injury during childbirth. They do this when they know that NHS maternity care could lead to a compensation claim.
If NHS Resolution or one of their solicitors has contacted you and has admitted that your maternity care was handled negligently, it is vital that you immediately seek independent, specialist legal advice.
Boyes Turner are one of the few firms who have experience of handling cerebral palsy claims under NHS Resolution’s Early Intervention Scheme.
We have found that even when NHS Resolution admits to the brain-injured child’s parents that their maternity care was negligent, they do not always accept that this caused injury. The sooner the parent comes to us after a birth injury or contact from NHS Resolution, the sooner we can force the NHS to accept full liability. Then we can immediately begin meeting the child’s needs with a substantial interim payment.
In most cases where our own investigations and our experts are supportive of our client’s claim, we achieve out of court settlement before the case reaches trial. We can’t guarantee that any particular claim will settle without the need for a contested trial, but we take great care in investigating and preparing each claim that we take on.
We do not take on a client’s case unless we believe that the claim is likely to succeed. From time to time, a case can only be concluded by a court hearing, where, for example:
Where a client’s case must be decided at a court hearing, our caring and highly experienced solicitors and barristers ensure that our clients understand what to expect and are supported throughout the process.
We depend on the NHS to help us through sickness and injury. When negligent NHS care causes or worsens a patient’s injury, it is natural for them to feel confused, betrayed and conflicted about their rights.
Political statements often imply that it is morally wrong to claim compensation from the NHS. This unfairly ignores the fact that negligent NHS care caused the patient’s need for compensation to help them cope with their new disability.
This misunderstanding increases the pain and worry that patients and families feel after medical mistakes cause devastating injury. Many people deal with these emotions and fear of criticism by struggling to meet their own or their severely disabled child’s needs alone. This causes huge stress to patients and their families who simply can’t cope with the difficulties of disabled life and its financial pressures.
Just like any other organisation or individual which has a duty of care to others, the NHS has a legal responsibility to compensate the people it harms. The NHS is not insured, but it receives funding from central government, with provision to pay for claims arising from negligently caused harm.
Despite political statements designed to make patients feel guilty about claiming their right to compensation, it is inaccurate to suggest that compensation comes out of money needed for frontline NHS care. Unjustifiable claims against the NHS do not succeed. In every case where compensation is paid, the NHS accepts (or the court has examined the evidence and found) that the injury was caused by negligent care.
At Boyes Turner, we take great care in our thorough scrutiny and investigation of the claims that we take on. We can therefore be confident that every case we present to NHS Resolution is justified, has been properly investigated and is likely to succeed. Our clients deserve nothing less from us and our impressive track record speaks for itself.
We can’t guarantee that any individual claim will improve another patient’s care. However, the government, the NHS and many medical organisations agree that the NHS has to learn if it is to reduce avoidable harm.
Initiatives such as the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ (RCOG’s) Each Baby Counts programme and Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) are working to help the NHS learn from its mistakes.
The NHS will only learn from its mistakes if it is accountable for them. Meanwhile, those who are negligently injured have a legal right to compensation.
No, the NHS should not change the care it gives to any patient or their family, simply because they are making a claim for compensation.
For these families, the only way to obtain financial help to meet their child’s needs is by making a claim for compensation. For many, this can be a tough decision, but our clients often tell us that they felt it was the only way they could properly provide for their severely disabled child.
In our experience, however, over time the parents of children with cerebral palsy and severe neurological disability often find that the NHS is unable to meet their disabled child’s increasing needs.
An NHS complaint is an informal or formal complaint which you make to the NHS provider about your treatment. The complaints process is designed to answer your complaint by investigating and explaining the issues you raise. The NHS complaints process is not designed to pay compensation.
An NHS compensation claim is designed to obtain payment of financial compensation where negligent NHS treatment is found to have occurred.
£21 million settlement for a severely disabled teenager whose brain injury and cerebral palsy was caused by midwife mistakes during his mother’s labour and delays in his delivery.
$23 million settlement in a kernicterus brain injury claim against an NHS trust for a New York resident child after community midwives failed to recognise that he had jaundice in the days after his birth. We pursued the claim in the English courts against the NHS hospital where our client’s neonatal treatment took place. His compensation reflected the cost of meeting his needs in New York, where he and his family now live.
£3.6 million settlement for a child who suffered a neonatal meningitis brain injury and cerebral palsy after hospital staff failed to recognise that he needed antibiotic treatment for infection.
£1.5 million lump sum plus payments of £225,000pa for life in a settlement for a man who was left with tetraplegia (paralysis of all four limbs and body) after falling from the hospital chair where he was left to sleep following unnecessary spinal surgery.
£800,000 settlement for a 40-year-old man left with impaired mobility, bowel, bladder, and sexual function after his GP failed to diagnose and act on his symptoms of cauda equina syndrome (CES).
£1.4 million settlement for a young woman whose Erb’s palsy was caused by a brachial plexus injury at birth. Our client approached us as an adult, 14 years after another firm of solicitors had advised her parents that her claim, which they valued at £6,000, was too difficult to prove.
£950,000 settlement for a 60-year-old man with diabetes who needed a below knee amputation after GP surgery staff delays in diagnosis and treatment of Charcot foot, which he developed after a minor injury.
£800,000 settlement for a young woman who was left with permanent, severe pain, and physical and psychological injuries after GP and hospital delays in diagnosis and treatment of her cervical cancer. By the time her diagnosis was made, her tumour had spread too far for surgery. Her severe injuries were caused by the need for radical treatment with chemo-radiotherapy.
£750,000 settlement in a strongly defended claim for a former nurse whose entire left hand, right hand fingers and thumb, toes of her left foot, and right leg below the knee needed amputation after negligent treatment of post-surgical sepsis and necrotising fasciitis. She also suffered a psychological injury.
£250,000 settlement for the bereaved widow of a man who died from stage 4 cancer after two GPs misdiagnosed his malignant melanoma (skin cancer) as a verruca.
£800,000 settlement for the bereaved family of a 28-year-old mother who died from ovarian cancer after years of negligent failure by a hospital to properly diagnose and remove an ovarian cyst.
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Medical negligence is when a medical professional, such as a doctor, midwife, or nurse, or other healthcare practitioner is negligent if they act in a way that falls below any acceptable standard of care.
If someone is injured as a result of medical negligence, they are entitled to compensation for any injury that was caused and for the financial consequences of that injury.
Medical negligence claims that involve severe injury and disability should always be handled by specialist medical negligence solicitors. It takes experience and skill to successfully prove that medical negligence has caused a patient’s injuries, and to secure the highest levels of compensation.
Anyone who has suffered serious injury or disability as a result of negligent NHS or private medical care can make a medical negligence claim for compensation. Special rules apply to children, adults with mental incapacity, and claims arising from a fatal injury/someone’s death.
Children and teenagers under the age of 18, or anyone with mental incapacity, must make their claim via a ‘litigation friend’. This is usually a parent or guardian in the case of a child, or a partner or other adult family member in the case of an adult with mental incapacity. The solicitor handling the claim takes instructions and works closely with the litigation friend whilst ensuring that decisions are made in the best interests of the child or mentally incapable adult who is making the claim. You can find out more about making a claim for a child.
Some important decisions, such as agreements to settle a child or mentally incapable adult’s claim, must be approved by the court. Arrangements must also be made to safeguard the child or mentally incapable adult’s compensation, whether from an interim payment, lump sum settlement or agreed future payments. Depending on the claimant’s circumstances, this may be done by paying the money into a Court Funds Office account until the child is 18, by appointing a Court of Protection deputy or setting up a personal injury trust. You can find out more about Court of Protection deputyship and personal injury trusts.
If the claim is for bereaved family members and dependants after medical negligence caused someone’s death, the claim must be made by the deceased’s personal representative (executor or administrator of their estate) on behalf of all who are entitled to compensation as a result of the death. You can find out more about making a fatal injury medical negligence claim here.
The NHS has a responsibility to provide its patients with a safe and acceptable level of care. If a patient is seriously injured or their condition is made significantly worse as a result of negligent NHS care, the patient may be entitled to claim compensation.
Compensation can help meet the costs of care, therapies, equipment and home adaptations that are needed when an NHS mistake causes injury or disability that permanently affects the patient’s life.
We are experts at helping clients receive the compensation they deserve from the NHS. We understand the concerns that patients and their families sometimes have about claiming against the NHS. You can read our answers to many of the most common questions on our NHS claims page or speak to one of our solicitors about your own claim by contacting us.
Whilst we cannot guarantee that any particular claim will settle out of court, we take great care in investigating and preparing each claim that we take on. Our clients’ claims usually settle successfully without the need for a contested trial.
Occasionally, cases can only be concluded by a formal court hearing, such as where:
Where our client’s claim is complicated by any of the above, we may advise our client that for the case to proceed, it must go to a court hearing. Our caring and highly experienced medical negligence solicitors and barristers ensure that our clients are always kept informed and supported.
Even in non-contested cases, there will be occasions when the case is brought for shorter hearings before the court, such as after a settlement for a child or brain injured adult without mental capacity takes place. In these cases, the lawyers for both sides present the agreed settlement to the court for the judge’s approval.
Each claimant’s compensation is calculated in accordance with mandatory rules based on their individual circumstances.
Compensation for medical negligence should put the injured person back in the position that they would have been in if the negligence hadn’t happened, in so far as money can.
In a medical negligence claim, the amount of compensation depends on:
Compensation for medical negligence usually includes a sum for the injury, and sums to compensate for financial losses and the cost of meeting the needs that arise from the disability.
Our medical negligence solicitors ensure clients receive their compensation in the way that is best suited to meet their needs.
Depending on our clients’ injuries, individual circumstances and needs, we can recover compensation to pay for:
Where medical negligence caused someone’s death, compensation may be claimed by the deceased’s dependants and on behalf of the deceased’s estate. Compensation in a fatal injury medical negligence claim can be paid for:
There are three ways to fund a medical negligence claim, legal aid, no win no fee, and legal expense insurance.
A medical examination is usually needed to assess our client’s injury. Where our client has suffered multiple injuries or both physical and psychological injuries, they may need to be examined by specialists in each area. This is important to make sure that our client’s injuries are fully assessed and understood, so that they can be properly compensated.
If a medical examination is needed, we instruct the specialist and make the arrangements. We ensure that they have access to our client’s medical records and are aware of the background to the claim. The hospital or doctor against whom the claim is being made may also ask for our client to be examined by their medical expert.
The law states that, in most cases, someone who has been injured as a result of medical negligence has three years from the date of the negligence which caused the injury to issue court proceedings. If they fail to issue court proceedings within that time, their claim will be statute barred, meaning that they lose their right to bring a claim.
There are the following exceptions to the three-year rule:
Regardless of your time limit, we recommend that you contact our medical negligence solicitors as soon as you can, even if at that stage you are only considering whether to make a claim.
By contacting us early, it avoids later problems with deadlines and allows us to advise you on how to collect and preserve essential evidence. This enables us to ensure you have the best chance of securing your entitlement to full compensation for your claim.
If a baby, child, or teenager under the age of 18 makes a claim for compensation for injuries caused by medical negligence, their claim is made on their behalf by a ‘litigation friend’. This is usually a parent or guardian.
As the child’s solicitor, we have a responsibility to make sure that all decisions relating to the claim are made in the best interests of the child. To do this, we work very closely with the child’s family. Some important decisions, such as settlement agreements or the amount of money that is allocated to a child in a claim involving more than one claimant, must be approved by the court.
We are specialists in helping families obtain full compensation for children who have been very severely injured, leaving them with permanent disability and lifelong specialist needs. Our expert children’s claims service includes a dedicated Court of Protection team who help our clients protect, budget and access their compensation via deputyship and trusts, and an SEN team to ensure that their special educational needs are met. Find out more about how we help families, children, and teenagers with children’s claims.
If you think that you or a family member have received negligent medical treatment or have experienced malpractice, we recommend that you speak to one of our friendly, experienced clinical negligence claim solicitors as soon as possible.
You can contact us by telephone or by email. Your enquiry will be handled confidentially and preliminary advice in relation to pursuing a claim will be given free of charge.
Our medical negligence solicitors will ask you to tell us briefly what has happened, advise you about the limitation deadlines (time limits) which apply to your claim and whether we are able to help you investigate your claim.
Once our initial investigations have taken place, we will notify the defendant (hospital or doctor) of your intention to pursue a claim and invite them to respond, giving them an opportunity to admit liability, before court proceedings are issued.
If liability is admitted, we will enter judgment and apply for an interim payment as soon as possible to meet any urgent needs that you may have as a result of the negligently caused injury.
If liability is disputed, we will discuss with you the further steps that we need to take to progress your claim.
Our extensive guide on making a medical negligence claim explains the whole process, if you require any further information.
The duration of a medical negligence claim depends on the individual circumstances of the client’s case. The claim is likely to take less time to conclude where:
Circumstances which make the claim more complex and therefore take longer to resolve include:
Our medical negligence solicitors work hard to secure early admissions of liability and substantial interim payments so that we can begin to alleviate financial hardship and provide essential care, respite, specialist equipment, therapies and home adaptations long before the claim has settled. With liability judgments secured and interim funds in place, the individual and their family are able to focus on rebuilding their lives whilst we concentrate on valuing and negotiating settlement of the claim.
Compensation is carefully structured to ensure the best provision for the injured person’s needs. Our clients often benefit from different types of compensation, including:
Where healthcare is found to be (legally) negligent, then the claimant (the person making the claim) must prove that their injury was caused or significantly worsened by the negligent care.
This is important because the patient may already be very ill when they receive negligent medical care. In those circumstances, they must prove that their injury (and its financial consequences) would have been avoided or greatly reduced if correct treatment had been given. This aspect of the medical negligence claim is known as ‘causation’. Causation must be proven, even if negligence is admitted, for the claim to succeed and compensation to be awarded.
Negligence and causation must be proven by supportive opinions from medical experts. We instruct experts in the same field of medicine as the negligent care to tell us whether the care that was given was of a reasonable standard. If negligence is proven, we ask medical specialists in the type of injury suffered, to confirm whether our client’s injury was caused or made worse by the negligent treatment, or would have been reduced or avoided with correct care.
In a medical negligence claim, compensation will only be paid for injuries and loss that we can prove were caused by the healthcare provider’s negligence. Once we know what mistakes were made, the next step (causation) is to identify the extent of the injury or disability that was caused by those mistakes.
Proving causation in complex medical negligence cases requires both medical expertise and understanding of the law. We often succeed in claims where NHS Resolution (the NHS’ defence organisation) has denied ‘causation’. You can read more about how we overcome difficulties with causation in complex birth injury cases.
Our medical negligence and personal injury teams have been nationally recognised for over 20 years because of their expertise, empathy and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients.
Fran has been an amazing support through a very difficult time for me and my family. Always available to speak and kept me in the loop with anything happening, she has been so kind, and I thank her so much for helping and getting my mum the justice she deserved.
What has to be some of the most testing horrible times was dealt with in a dignified, honest, approachable and truly empathetic manner. I could not begin to do Susan justice for her handling of our case.
I approached Boyes Turner after my claim was turned down by one of the Medical Negligence Claim company. My wife was a victim of medical negligence.
Boyes Turner have acted so efficiently on our behalf and was able to win our case. Anytime we contact them, their customer service was very good as they kept us fully informed of every level our case has developed. They are very friendly and approachable and great in their professional advise. I would strongly recommend anyone approach them for their legal and medical negligence services.
Thoroughly professional, knowledgable and approachable with communication and updates as and when needed, in what can be a drawn out process, I was always comfortable asking questions and always received answers which were clear and understandable. Highly recommend
I came to Boyes Turner desperate after searching the web for a firm to use for my sons case. He was only a few months so my mind was all over the place, but from the very first point of contact I felt a sense of relieve and belonging. I was welcomed and looked after by amazing staff who always communicated everything so well and went the extra mile to explain things and ensure I understood what was happening every step of the way (THANK YOU SUSAN BROWN). Susan was amazing I felt like I not only had a solicitor but someone who understood my emotions as a mother and always handled me with so much compassion and that was all I needed to keep me going for the 6 years of the case. Years went by in a breeze because of how professional Boyes Turner was. I am so greatful I went through it all with them and mananged to get my son a good compensation. We look forward our new life where my sons needs are priority after struggling for so long. Thank you Boyes Turner and thank you Susan Brown. My family and I are ever indebted.