NHS and GP Negligence

If you have experienced poor treatment in a hospital or surgery run by the NHS, we can help you make a claim for medical negligence.


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NHS medical negligence claims

The NHS provides a quality service to most of the people it treats. Millions of people are helped every year.

But sometimes things can go wrong. NHS Resolution, the body responsible for handling claims against the NHS, received 12, 629 clinical negligence claims and reports of incidents in 2020/21.

Experiencing NHS medical negligence is rare – but it happens. And when it does, you need someone on your side to help you get the care and treatment you really need.

First4Lawyers and our expert medical negligence solicitors can ensure you get the best legal help. We’re here to give you access to justice so you can claim the NHS compensation you are entitled to.

Can I make an NHS negligence claim?

Everyone should feel safe when being treated by the NHS. So we understand just how distressing – and even traumatic – it can be to suffer negligence while you’re under the care of your GP or other NHS service.

You could make a claim if the medical professional treating you made an avoidable mistake or their treatment was substandard.

Examples of NHS negligence include:

  • Misdiagnosis
    This is where a patient’s illness is either mistaken for something else or missed entirely by GPs and other medical professionals. Misdiagnosis can be avoided, which makes it even more upsetting to deal with when it happens.
  • A&E negligence
    This occurs when someone is sent to an A&E department and not given the correct treatment right away – such as being discharged too early.
  • Failure to refer to a specialist
    GPs must refer you to a specialist doctor at a hospital if you have a serious illness – not doing so could be harmful to your health.
  • Pharmacy errors
    When an NHS pharmacist prescribes you the incorrect medication, or a dosage that’s too high or too low, that could be NHS negligence.

You could also make a claim if your loved one lost their life as a result of fatal negligence by the NHS.

 Making a successful claim against the NHS

Successful claims against the NHS rely on proving two things: breach of duty of care and causation.

  • Breach of duty of care

This is when the medical professional acted in a way that fell short of acceptable standards. It takes into account whether the actions taken by the person responsible would be supported by a “responsible body” of healthcare professionals. In other words, they breached their duty of care to you as a patient.

  • Causation

You need to be able to prove that your injury or illness was caused by the medical professional’s failure to meet the accepted standards. This means that if there is a chance you would have suffered harm if the person responsible had acted differently, your claim against the NHS will probably not be successful.

Should I make a complaint to the NHS trust?

If you were hurt by a medical professional working for the NHS, you may want to complain to that trust. It can help you feel like you’ve done all you can to make things right – as well as stopping it happening to anyone else.

A complaint can help you get the apology you may be looking for, or simply the acknowledgement that the NHS malpractice you suffered should not have happened. We’ve put together a straightforward guide to writing a letter of complaint to the NHS.

You can complain in person, by phone, in writing or by email. You can do this to either the NHS service provider that was negligent or to the commissioner of the services. This is the body that pays for the NHS services you used.

You can complain to NHS England about GPs, dentists, opticians or pharmacists. If you’re complaining about NHS malpractice from a hospital, mental health service, NHS 111 or community services like district nurses, you can contact your local clinical commissioning group.

As part of your claim, your solicitor could help you make a complaint. They are there to help you get the best outcome, so you can rely on their help.

Will the NHS still treat me after making a claim?

We understand that you might feel nervous about making a claim. We know that you may worry about the treatment you’ll then receive. But it may be reassuring to know that you won’t be blacklisted or face any negative consequences for claiming.

You can still receive treatment from the same service that you’re claiming against, if that’s what you want.

Alternatively, you might find it more suitable to find a different healthcare provider.

You have the right to medical treatment. And you have the right to proper care. That’s why it’s legally possible to make a claim if you have been harmed by someone in the NHS.

Who pays compensation for successful claims against the NHS?

Claims for negligence by the NHS don’t take money out of the NHS budget. This isn’t something you need to worry about.

NHS Resolution handles claims and has its own separate budget. That means that your NHS claim won’t have an impact on anyone else’s treatment.

The organisation also supports NHS services to learn from the claims that have been made against them.

Why should I make an NHS compensation claim?

We know that you’re probably more interested in getting justice for the avoidable negligence you suffered than getting compensation.

But the law states that if you have been hurt in an avoidable incident – including a medical accident – you are entitled to compensation for what you’ve been through.

This can be a huge help during your recovery process or to help make you more comfortable. It can also help to relieve any financial worries you may have.

By making a claim, you can also help to highlight what went wrong in your treatment. This could force the NHS service responsible to investigate and address its failures, which could then stop the same thing happening to someone else.

How can I pay for my negligence claim against the NHS?

In most cases in England and Wales, our specialist solicitors will take on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

A No Win No Fee NHS medical negligence claim means that there’s nothing to pay upfront. That gives you the times to focus on your recovery instead of worrying about how to pay for your claim.

There is also nothing to pay if your claim is unsuccessful. A No Win No Fee claim is a risk-free way of claiming the compensation that you’re entitled to for the NHS negligence you experienced.

Only pay a fee if you receive compensation

Our No Win No Fee solicitors will take a success fee from the compensation you are awarded for a successful claim in the form of a percentage of your damages. This could be up to 25% but it won't be more than that, except in cases of road traffic accidents and housing disrepair. Changing laws mean our solicitors will now take a payment of 35% of the final compensation amount plus VAT for all road traffic accident and housing disrepair claims.

First4Lawyers are an award-winning claims management company with a track record of delivering service that our clients love.

How long do I have to make an NHS medical negligence claim?

You’ll usually have three years to make an NHS compensation claim. But just because you have that long, it doesn’t mean you should delay making a claim. It’s always a good idea to start your claim as soon as you can.

That’s because it can be easier to remember the details of what happened to you. It could also be easier to get hold of certain pieces of evidence.

But not every claimant will have to submit their claim within three years. For example, if you’re claiming on behalf of a child, you’ll be able to do so until they turn 18. From that date, they will then have three years to make a claim themselves.

And if you’re claiming on behalf of someone who lacks the capacity to claim themselves, you won’t have a deadline.

It’s not always clear straight away that medical negligence took place. It can take months or even years to establish that it was responsible for your condition getting worse or a new illness developing.

When this happens, you will have three years from the date you found out that you were the victim of medical negligence to make a claim. This allows everyone a chance to get justice.

How much compensation will I get for NHS negligence?

Every claim is different. And medical negligence can cause complex injuries and illnesses. That makes it difficult to say exactly what you might receive in compensation without a chat about your situation.

For a rough idea of what you could be entitled to for the harm you’ve suffered, try our compensation calculator.

But don’t forget that you are also entitled to compensation for any financial impact the negligence has had. This could include the cost of any treatment you’ve had to pay for, as well as any mobility aids or home modifications you now need.

It can also cover a loss of earnings if your injury or illness meant you weren’t able to go to work.

To talk to the team at First4Lawyers about making an NHS negligence claim, just get in touch. you can give us a call, request a call back when it’s convenient or start your claim online.

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  • In these cases brain damage, if any, will be minimal.
  • Where a good recovery has been made but symptoms such as poor concentration and memory problems continue.
  • Where ability to work is reduced and there is a risk of epilepsy.
  • The injured person is very seriously disabled and is dependent on others.
  • Epilepsy has been caused as a consequence of the injury.
  • Affecting the ability to cope with life and/or work or affecting relationships with family and friends.
  • The injured person largely recovers within two years.
  • Injury causes effects that cause significant disability for the foreseeable future, or permanently.
  • In consequence of defective permanent waving etc. where effects are dermatitis or hair loss leading to distress and effects on social life.
  • Where hair has been pulled out leaving bald patches, or stress-induced alopecia with full recovery within two years.
  • Resulting in pain and temporary interference with vision.
  • Permanent impairment of vision in one or both eyes.
  • Total loss of sight in one eye and reduced vision or other problems with the other eye
  • Total loss of sight in one eye only.
  • Mild tinnitus with some hearing loss
  • With noise induced hearing loss, or moderate to severe tinnitus, or noise induced hearing loss alone.
  • With noise induced hearing loss
  • With or without associated problems such as tinnitus, dizziness or headaches.
  • With or without the speech being affected, or tinnitus.
  • Full recovery with no surgery required.
  • Where recovery is complete after surgery
  • Injuries requiring a number of operations and/or resulting in permanent damage.
  • Simple fracture of the cheekbone, which will fully recover without surgery.
  • Simple fracture of the cheekbone requiring some reconstructive surgery, but with full recovery and little or no cosmetic effects.
  • Serious fractures causing lasting effects such as burning/prickling sensation or an element of disfigurement.
  • Requiring immobilisation but recovery is complete.
  • Serious injury causing permanent damage, such as difficulty eating or opening the mouth.
  • Very serious multiple fractures requiring prolonged treatment. Permanent effects such as severe pain, restricted eating.
  • Assessed per tooth.
  • Single tooth only.
  • Extends over a number of years, including significant deterioration of overall condition of the teeth.
  • Where full recovery takes place between nine months and one year.
  • Fractures or dislocations which cause severe immediate symptoms and chronic conditions, leading to impaired function or limitation of activities.
  • Injuries usually involving serious fractures or disc damage leading to disability, such as substantial loss of movement or loss of function in one or more limbs.
  • Caused by asbestos
  • Varying levels of respiratory disability and reduced lung function (1-10% and in excess of 10%)
  • Severe pain and impairment of the pleura (lung lining) or the peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity), affecting function and quality of life.
  • Causing respiratory disability attributed to asbestos exposure.
  • Causing permanent damage, impairment of function, physical disability and reduction of life expectancy.
  • Such as soft tissue damage causing considerable pain but recovery almost complete within two years.
  • Such as frozen shoulder causing limitation of movement and discomfort for up to two years.
  • Causing pain in shoulder and neck, aching in elbow, weakness of arm and hand.
  • Involving damage to the brachial plexus and resulting in significant disability.
  • Temporary or permanent disability as a result of a fracture.
  • Such as strains, sprains, disc prolapses and soft tissue injuries.
  • Such as disturbances of ligaments and muscles causing backache, or compression fracture.
  • Injuries causing severe pain and disability, including impaired bladder, bowel and sexual function.
  • Resulting in significant or permanent disability
  • Most elbow injuries such as simple fractures, laceration and tennis elbow, not resulting in permanent damage or impairment.
  • Injuries causing impairment of function but not involving major surgery or significant disabilty
  • Injuries such as deep lacerations, soft tissue wounds or crush injuries, all recovering within six months.
  • Resulting in impairment of grip or reduced mechanical function. Partial amputations resulting in deformity.
  • Injuries such as a thumb being severed and re-attached, leaving it with little use, amputation of the tip or at the joint of the thumb. Nerve damage or fracture resulting in impaired grip or dexterity.
  • Amputation resulting in very little use and weak grip.
  • Amputation due to crush injuries, or loss of a significant part of the hand due to traumatic injury.
  • Serious injury resulting in extensive damage to both hands, effectively leaving them with little use.
  • Caused by repeated vibration, damage to hands including impaired grip, dexterity and frequent pain.
  • Such as an uncomplicated fracture with full or virtual recovery.
  • Injuries resulting in significant permanent disability, but some useful movement remains.
  • Injuries causing some permanent disability, such as persistent pain and stiffness.
  • Resulting in complete loss of function in the wrist, for example when an arthrodesis has been performed.
  • Such as a broken femur, tibia or fibular
  • Serious fracture or injuries to joints or ligaments, scarring, instability and lengthy treatment required.
  • Fractures where a full recovery is not made.
  • Loss of a leg below the knee
  • Loss of a leg above the knee
  • Both legs being lost above the knee, below the knee, or where one leg has been lost above the knee and the other below.
  • Torn cartilage or meniscus, laceration, twisting and bruising. May be full recovery, or continued aches and pains.
  • Injury or damage causing mild disability or continuing pain, discomfort or limited movement that may require future surgery.
  • Fractures, joint or ligament damage causing constant pain, impairing movement and agility. Requiring prolonged treatment, the injured person will be prone to osteoarthritis.
  • Including fractures where there is full recovery within two years.
  • Significant injury but any permanent disability is not major. Injury may require a hip replacement.
  • Such as extensive fractures resulting in substantial disabilities.
  • Simple metatarsal fractures, ruptured ligaments.
  • Displaced metatarsal fractures resulting in permanent deformity.
  • Fractures to feet resulting in restricted mobility and /or considerable continuing pain.
  • Crush or multiple fractures to two or more toes, resulting in permanent disability.
  • Undisplaced fractures, sprains and ligament injuries.
  • For fractures and ligament tears resulting in moderate disability, such as difficulty walking on uneven ground or on stairs.
  • Injuries involving long periods of treatment, long period in plaster and some permanent disability.

Simply fill in our form below and we’ll call you back at a time to suit you.

Or talk to our team on:
0808 271 6198

There are other types of compensation you could be awarded through your accident such as loss of earnings or damage to property. The estimates given here are simply for your personal injury claim.

First4Lawyers' solicitors will be able to give you the best idea of the amount you should expect from your individual injury.

It is important to keep in mind that every case is different and the advice and estimates you'll be given, once your case has started, will be tailored specifically for your case.


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