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Does Making A Claim Against The NHS Impact Funding For Patient Care?27th Jun 2022

by David Simpson on 27th Jun 2022

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Should I Sue The NHS?

We all acknowledge and respect the fact that NHS clinicians do their very best to provide proper and effective medical treatment, however even with the very best intentions a small percentage of patients will suffer harm because we are all human and humans make mistakes.
 
If that mistake can occur despite all reasonable care then the claim cannot succeed; if that mistake is one that would not be supported by any responsible body of medical opinion then it represent a breach of duty and the patient is quite properly entitled to a reasonable sum in damages.
 
The NHS acknowledge and recognise this and expect patients to be compensated when things go wrong. Because they are a state funded organisation they are effectively self-insured and have set aside a specific sum of money in order to compensate those unfortunate enough to be injured as a consequence of medical negligence. Accordingly, any sums paid in respect of damages and costs is from that specific fund and does not directly reduce funding for patient care.
 
NHS claims are dealt with by NHS Resolution, an arm’s length body of the Department of Health and Social Care. NHS Resolution act as the NHS' specialist insurer, dealing with all patient claims against NHS Trusts. Each Trust pays an annual premium to NHS Resolution - this will be paid irrespective of whether you decide to pursue a claim or not. This ensures there is money available to resolve any NHS medical negligence claims and that payouts do not directly impact care.

However, if you only require answers or an apology – rather than monetary compensation – then you may wish to pursue a complaint via PALS or the Health Service Ombudsman. A case of serious error or misconduct may justify a report the General Medical Council (GMC).

 

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Why Medical Negligence Victims Sue The NHS

Nobody wants to sue the NHS. But often the victims of medical negligence have no choice. NHS errors rob people of their livelihoods as well as their quality of life.

So without work or sufficient savings, victims have no alternative but to claim compensation to recover damages for their injuries and loss of earnings – and to fund the costly care, equipment and rehabilitation they require.

The aim of medical negligence litigation is not to punish the NHS or the individual doctors concerned. It is to help the victim get their life back to the way it was before the NHS injured them. The purpose is restorative, it is never a ‘windfall’ – victims would always prefer that the harm caused had never happened in the first place. The compensation funds care and rehabilitation to help them cope as best they can.

At Coles Miller, our medical negligence solicitors have a good track record when it comes to:

  • securing early admissions of liability from the NHS
  • getting the NHS to make interim payments for care and rehabilitation until the full extent and impact of a victim’s injuries can be determined.

Have You Been Injured? Get Expert Legal Help

Have you suffered injuries as a result of negligence by the NHS or other healthcare clinicians? 

Find out how you can claim compensation using a No Win, No Fee agreement, so there is no financial risk to you. Furthermore, 99% of our claims are settled without the need to go to court.

Contact Coles Miller Partner David Simpson, who leads our team of medical negligence solicitors. He is based at our Poole head office.