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Claiming against the NHS can feel daunting. The NHS stands as a pillar of healthcare in the UK, helping to change lives by delivering essential medical services to millions and being a beacon of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. The thought of claiming against them can seem rather overwhelming, almost as though you are doing your country a disservice. However, if you have experienced medical negligence from the NHS you are entitled to claim compensation, and you should not feel guilty about that.

The NHS deals with over a million patients every 36 hours; overall, the medical teams do a fantastic job. However, sometimes the standard of care in the NHS can fall short. When this happens, those who have not fulfilled their duty must be held accountable. Recognising the importance of accountability and the rights of the individual is extremely important when it comes to submitting a claim, and we here at The Claims Partnership can help. 

The NHS tries to provide a streamlined and efficient complaints process, so before making a complaint, it might be worth contemplating whether the complaints process will be sufficient to help you resolve your issue. They also aim to be transparent and claim they will pay compensation when it is due. But if you find that this isn’t the case and their resolutions are lacking, you should consult with a legal professional.

On What Grounds Can You Sue The NHS?

While we do not want to advocate for suing the NHS, there are certain grounds in which suing the NHS is the only option. You may want to make a claim against the NHS if their treatment was negligent. Applicable situations include an injury you received as a result of negligence on their behalf, an error during a surgical procedure, mistakes regarding NHS staff prescribing you medication, a misdiagnosis, or a late diagnosis of a condition. 

How Do You Claim Against The NHS?

If you do decide to pursue a claim against the NHS, there are usually four distinct steps to the process:

  1. Contact A Legal Expert 

The first step is to contact a trusted and experienced legal professional, such as The Claims Partnership. We can examine the eligibility of your claim and help to manage your expectations of the process. 

  1. Medical Examination 

If you are advised to continue after receiving we will need to obtain your medical records and review them. If appropriate, we may recommend that you be examined by a medical professional. The medical expert will produce a report that looks at two issues: a ‘breach of duty’, which looks for evidence that the NHS has not upheld its standards in some form, and ‘causation’, which is the actual damage or additional injury or financial loss that has been caused. Once all aspects of the claim have been covered, a ‘Letter of Claim’ will be produced and sent to the NHS. 

  1. NHS Response 

After sending the Letter of Claim, the NHS has up to 4 months to respond, though it is worth noting that they are rarely able to keep to this deadline. During this time, we can assess the impact that the incident has had on your life and also identify a settlement fee that you feel is appropriate for the severity of the claim. 

  1. Court Proceedings

If the NHS does not admit liability, then court proceedings may be required. We hope you do not need to go to court, but sometimes this is the only option to ensure you receive compensation that is sufficient for your suffering. 

How Long Does Claiming Against the NHS Take?

As previously mentioned, the NHS tries to streamline the complaints and, therefore, the claims process. As a result, most claims against the NHS are usually resolved within a 1-3 year timeframe. However, it is worth noting that this can vary dramatically depending on the complexity of the situation and the level of negligence exhibited. 

How Much Should You Expect from an NHS Payout?

Each year, the NHS pays out billions in compensation. In 2020 – 2021 alone, the NHS spent £2.2 billion on clinical negligence claims. While this is in no way indicative of exactly how much compensation you will receive, it may provide a clearer indication of the substantial awards of compensation. 

What Are The Time Limits for Suing the NHS?

As with most claims in the UK, there is a time limit on your ability to make a claim. If you are planning on suing the NHS, you must do so within three years of the ‘date of knowledge.’ This differs slightly from other claim types. The date of knowledge is the date on which you became aware of the issue. While this is usually the day the incident took place, sometimes negligence does not come to light until much later. For example, if you have an operation, then you may be fine to begin with. However, weeks or months later you may start to experience problems. The date of knowledge becomes the date you started to notice the issue. 

What Percentage of Claims Against the NHS Are Successful? 

The success of medical negligence compensation claims hinges on a variety of factors. Data reveals that in the year 2021-22 a total of 15,078 claims were filed against the NHS. Out of these, settlements were achieved in 13,070 cases, indicating that approximately 86.7% of all claims resulted in a favourable outcome. It is worth noting that many claimants sought legal advice before making their claims, and this may have affected the probability of a successful outcome. 

Things To Consider Before Making A Claim

Before making a claim against the NHS, there are numerous things to consider, as with pretty much any medical negligence claim. Some of these include:

Providing Evidence 

In order for your claim to be successful, you must provide sufficient evidence. Some examples of evidence may include attending medical appointments and providing witness statements.

Level of Neglect 

The level of neglect or carelessness on the part of the NHS may influence whether you are able to win your claim. We use specialist Surgeons operating in the same area of medicine to help us argue your case.

The Impact on Your Everyday Life 

Before making any claim, it is important to consider the impact the event has on your everyday life. If your incident has had a massive impact on your life (e.g. the incident has led to a life-changing situation which means you can’t carry out your everyday activities) then you should be entitled to a higher settlement figure.

Contact Us Today 

If you are considering pursuing your claim against the NHS, then please contact The Claims Partnership today. We have years of experience dealing with medical negligence claims, and we can help you get the settlement you want and deserve. 

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