NHS Hospital Negligence Claims

NHS hospitals provide a first class service in the majority of cases, but there are occasions where the care given falls below expected standards and people are harmed as a result. In these circumstances, it is important for the hospital to be held to account and for compensation to be paid to those who have been affected. At Step Legal Solicitors, we specialise in supporting the victims of medical malpractice – also referred to as medical negligence

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How we can help

Drawing on years of experience in dealing with medical negligence claims, our expert solicitors can help you to pursue a claim for compensation where you or your loved one have been injured as a result of a medical blunder, seen an existing condition get worse as a result of medical failings or developed a new condition attributable to shortcomings in care or treatment while under a hospital’s care. We can also help in cases of medical negligence resulting in death.

We can assist with claims arising out of:

  • mistakes made in an accident & emergency department;
  • delayed diagnosis, wrong diagnosis and misdiagnosis;
  • delayed and improperly performed treatment;
  • surgical errors, including failure to properly anesthetise and causing unnecessary nerve damage;
  • failure to spot a pre-existing infection, such as sepsis or meningitis;
  • failure to spot cancer and other life threatening conditions;
  • failure to spot heart disease and other cardiology issues;
  • failure to spot fractures, torn ligaments and other orthopedic injuries;
  • failure to spot eye conditions and other ophthalmology problems;
  • mistakes made in prescriptions which lead to administration of the wrong drug; and
  • provision of neglectful care resulting in pressure sores, abscesses and malnourishment.

We can also help in cases which stem from:

  • failure to take a full medical history or to have proper regard to the history provided;
  • failure to carry out an appropriate examination and to order required tests;
  • failure to warn about the risks of a proposed surgery or treatment or to highlight possible side effects; and
  • failure to obtain informed consent to treatment or surgery being carried out.

Where your claim arises out of treatment or surgery performed by a private hospital or healthcare facility, please visit our dedicated private hospital negligence webpage. We can also support you in bringing a claim for GP negligence and dental negligence where appropriate.

Our approach to dealing with your claim

As soon as we agree to take on your case we will begin to make enquiries to ascertain exactly what has happened and what it is that went wrong. This will necessitate us obtaining a copy of your hospital records and the results of any internal investigations that may have been carried out, for example following notification of your concerns via the hospital’s internal complaints procedure. It may also involve us sending you for a private medical examination and commissioning reports from experts who can comment on the standard of care or treatment you have received, the harm that you have suffered and the impact that this has had and is likely to continue to have on your life going forward, both personally and financially – for example through loss of earnings or ongoing care costs.

Once we are clear on this, we will then make contact with the hospital and NHS Resolution (who operate various NHS compensation schemes) to ask them whether they accept that mistakes were made and that some form of compensation is therefore due. Where they say that they do, we will push them to work with us to resolve your claim as quickly as possible and preferably without the need to take the matter to court. We will also ask them to make you an interim payment on account of the compensation you are likely to receive to help tide you over financially while you wait for your claim to be settled and to support you in accessing any rehabilitative treatment or support that you may require, including to address any psychological damage you may have sustained.

Where liability to pay you compensation is denied we will continue to fight your corner and if it becomes necessary we will issue court proceedings so that the merits of your claim can be assessed by a judge. We will also issue court proceedings where liability is admitted but the amount of compensation offered falls below that which we believe you are entitled to receive and where you give us the go ahead to try to recover the full amount we say you should be able to claim.

Likely timeframe

Some medical negligence claims can be settled within a matter of months, while others may take many years. It depends on the complexity of your case and whether the NHS Trust responsible admits that they were at fault and agrees to pay an appropriate amount of compensation by way of recompense. Whatever your circumstances, you can rest assured that we will do everything within our power to resolve your claim as quickly as we can and on the best possible terms.

Compensation amount

The level of compensation you receive will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, your likely prognosis, your age at the time of the incident and whether, as a result of what has happened, you are ever likely to work again or whether you will instead need lifelong care and ongoing support.

The majority of claims we handle see clients recovering five to six figure sums.

Time limit for bringing a claim

As a general rule, negligent medical treatment claims need to be brought within three years of a medical mistake occurring or you realising that something seriously wrong has occurred. Failure to commence legal action within this time frame will usually mean that your claim cannot be pursued, which makes it important to seek legal advice as soon as you can and as a matter of urgency where you believe that the three year time limit may be about to expire.

There are cases where the general time limit is longer or where it may even not apply, including:

  • where you are bringing a claim on behalf of a child, in which case you have until they turn 21 in which to take action; or
  • where you are claiming on behalf of someone without mental capacity, in which case you can bring a claim at any point in time.

Why choose Step Legal Solicitors?

As a specialist personal injury and medical negligence practice, we have the expertise needed to get to the bottom of what has happened and to secure you the highest amount of compensation possible given what you have been through and what lies ahead for you and your family.

Our service is designed to be supportive, easy to access and considerate of your needs. It is focused not just on helping you to recover compensation but to enable you to access any ongoing care that you require and to tap into local and national support groups who can help you as you attempt to move forward.

And we have an impressive track record in achieving great results for the clients we act for, even in complex cases where liability is disputed or where there is a question mark over whether the limitation period for bringing a claim has expired.

What next?

To find out more about our NHS hospital negligence service, please call us now on 0800 1956412 or email us at enquiries@steplegal.co.uk.

We can assist wherever you are based in the UK and can usually visit you at home to discuss your claim if you live in Cheshire, Staffordshire or Shropshire and you have mobility issues which make it impossible for you to travel. We also offer a free Polish translation service should you need it.