How Do You Sue The NHS For Misdiagnosis?

This is a guide in which we will address the question “how do you sue the NHS for misdiagnosis?”. It explains how an NHS misdiagnosis could happen, how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis and what kind of compensation you could receive.

How To Sue The NHS For Misdiagnosis

A timely diagnosis is important when seeking treatment for an injury or condition. It allows the treatment to start as soon as possible and can give you the best chance of recovery.

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How to sue the NHS for a misdiagnosis guide

Sometimes, however, a condition is not diagnosed when it should have been, and your health and recovery timescale is impacted as a result. In some circumstances, this can happen even when the medical professional is providing care at the right level. However, it can also happen as a result of medical negligence.

How Do You Claim Compensation For Misdiagnosis In The NHS?

If you have been harmed by a misdiagnosis that came about because of negligence, then you may be able to make a medical negligence claim. This guide will go through the process of doing so.

Furthermore, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to discuss your potential claim. To get in touch, you can telephone 0800 073 8801, use our contact page or message us via our Live Chat. Keep in mind that you’re not under any obligation to pursue a claim due to speaking with us.

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A Guide On How You Sue The NHS For Misdiagnosis

In this guide, we will look at the process of claiming compensation for harm caused by a misdiagnosis. We will begin by looking at what a misdiagnosis is and how this could occur.

In addition to this, we will examine what kinds of conditions might be misdiagnosed. We’ll also look at the effect that this can have.

Furthermore, we will examine the duty of care that is owed to you when you’re seeking medical attention from the NHS. We will also look at how you can prove negligence on the part of a medical professional.

In addition to this, we will look at the kinds of damages that could be included in a medical negligence claim. This guide will explain the evidence that you need to provide in support of your claim.

Finally, we will provide you with some additional resources that you may find useful. We will also answer some commonly asked questions.

If at any point, you have further questions that are not covered by this guide, you can speak with a member of our team. One of our advisors will be happy to discuss your claim with you.

What Is Misdiagnosis By The NHS?

A misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor incorrectly diagnoses your condition. There are a number of different diagnostic tools that a doctor can use to discern the condition you’re suffering from. Sometimes, though, a doctor may get it wrong and give you an incorrect diagnosis.

If your condition is misdiagnosed, then the problem this can cause for your health can be twofold. Firstly, you will not receive the treatment you need for the condition you are actually suffering from.

In addition to this, the treatment you get for the condition you’re thought to be suffering from might be harmful. For example, if you’re mistakenly diagnosed with cancer and given chemotherapy when you don’t need it, this could make you ill.

Suing The NHS For Misdiagnosis – What Do I Need To Prove

We should point out that misdiagnosis alone wouldn’t be grounds for a claim. Indeed, doctors could make genuine mistakes, or perhaps the evidence wasn’t clear enough to originally make a completely accurate diagnosis. In order to make a claim, you need to show that the doctor breached the duty of care they owe you to provide treatment of a minimum standard.

You also need to prove that the negligent misdiagnosis directly caused you to harm in order to claim. To do this, you need to show that your condition progressed worse than it would have done if you had not received negligent care.

Call us by using the number you can see at the top of the page for more information. Otherwise, read on to find out more about how an error in diagnosis could occur.

What Diagnostic Errors Could Happen?

There are a number of different diagnosis errors that could negatively affect you. If these errors were caused by negligence, you could have grounds to claim compensation.

Errors that could occur in the diagnostic process include:

  • Misdiagnosis- This is where the diagnosis you receive is incorrect. As we have already mentioned, this can cause a delay in your treatment and mean that you receive medication that makes you unwell. Furthermore, if you are told you have a condition that is terminal, this could cause you a great deal of stress and upset, even if you’re eventually given the right diagnosis.
  • Delayed diagnosis– A delay in diagnosis could cause your condition to worsen. This could make it more difficult to treat. In some cases, the condition might progress past the point where treatment can be effective.
  • Missed diagnosis- This is where your condition is missed completely. It means that you will not receive treatment for your condition at all.

If you have experienced any of the above due to negligence, and you can show that your condition is worse than it would have been if you had gotten the right diagnosis, you may be able to claim. Get in touch with our team for more information.

Medical Conditions Which May Be Misdiagnosed

Below, we have included a list of conditions that may be misdiagnosed:

Although there are no statistics relating to what conditions are most often misdiagnosed, NHS Resolution provides information on the volume of new claims received each year. Below, we have included a chart showing the rate of new claims received. As you can see, the largest category of claims received was “other”. The most common specific, individual category claimed for was emergency medicine.

How to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis statistics graph

If you have experienced a misdiagnosis that was caused by negligence, and the misdiagnosis caused you harm, you may be able to claim. Call our team today to ask any questions about taking legal action due to clinical negligence in the form of misdiagnosis.

What Could Cause Misdiagnosis In The NHS?

There could be numerous reasons to explain why an NHS misdiagnosis might occur. For example:

  • Diagnostic tests are not performed. If your condition would require a test like an X-ray or MRI scan in order to be diagnosed, and a doctor fails to order this, then this could result in the condition being missed.
  • Diagnostic tests are performed incorrectly. If the person who is performing the test used to diagnose your condition does so incorrectly, then the results of the test could be wrong. This means a diagnosis given based on these results is also wrong.
  • The results of diagnostic tests are misinterpreted. Your doctor might make a mistake when reading the results of a test. For example, they could miss the problem entirely or wrongly interpret the test as indicating something else is the problem.

Other reasons for misdiagnosis include things like tired and overstretched NHS staff and fragmentation of care. Fragmentation of care refers to a breakdown in communication between different areas of healthcare.

Use our 24/7 Live Chat service to find out more about the circumstances that could lead you to make a claim. Otherwise, read on for more information.

What Could Be The Effect Of Misdiagnosis?

If you receive a misdiagnosis for a condition you are suffering from, then there are a number of different effects this could have on you. For example, it could mean that you don’t receive the right treatment for your condition, meaning that it gets worse than it otherwise would have.

This could mean that you need more extensive treatment when your condition is eventually diagnosed correctly. In some cases, it might mean that your illness or injury has progressed to a point where it cannot be treated.

If you’re mistakenly diagnosed with a condition that you don’t have, then you might be given treatment for your condition. This treatment might make you ill or impact your quality of life. For example, if your leg is mistakenly thought to be broken, you might be given a cast that stops you from doing the things you normally do.

When you receive the incorrect diagnosis, this can cause you psychiatric harm. For example, you might be told that you have a relatively minor condition, but it is found later on that your condition is actually much more serious or even terminal. This could cause intense mental injuries and emotional harm.

Alternatively, you might be mistakenly told that you have a serious condition that is later diagnosed as something less serious. You might have had to undergo invasive treatment, like an operation, for a condition you did not have. Furthermore, you may have sustained mental injuries because you believed your life expectancy was reduced or that your quality of life would be severely impacted.

For more information on the duty of care NHS staff owe to their patients, please read on. Otherwise, speak to our team today for free legal advice.

Duty Of Care In The NHS

When you seek medical attention, whether it’s from the NHS or a private healthcare provider, you’re owed a duty of care. The General Medical Council has outlined the duties of a doctor. These duties include things like keeping professional skills and knowledge up-to-date and not discriminating against patients or colleagues.

Suing The NHS – Do I Have A Claim?

It can be difficult to discern whether or not a healthcare provider has breached their duty of care. For this reason, the courts will often use something called the Bolam Test to determine whether or not this has happened.

In the Bolam Test, a panel of the medical professional’s peers will be asked whether or not the actions of the doctor in question fell within the acceptable level of care. If not, they could be considered negligent.

As well as proving a duty of care breach, you also need to prove causation. This means that the negligence you experienced led directly to you coming to harm or your condition getting worse. If your condition would have worsened to this point whether or not you received the right diagnosis, you would not be able to claim.

Please speak to our knowledgeable team of advisors if you have any queries about how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis. If your claim is valid, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

Proving The NHS Breached Its Duty Of Care

When you make a claim for compensation against the NHS, it’s not usually necessary for you to prove that you were owed a duty of care. This is because it’s automatic; every healthcare provider who treats you owes you a duty of care.

You would, however, need to provide evidence to support your claim. For instance, you might provide medical records that contain details of all the times you sought medical attention for your condition and what the outcome was.

Furthermore, you might provide medical records if you sought a second opinion from a different doctor and received a misdiagnosis. However, you should be aware that this does not prove that negligence took place. The first doctor may have been acting in accordance with their duty of care when they misdiagnosed you.

If you’ve suffered any financial effects as a result of the harm caused to you by medical negligence, you could claim this back. You will need to provide evidence of this, including things like receipts, to show how much you have lost out on financially.

For more information on how you can prove a breach of duty of care in a medical negligence claim, speak with our team today. You could be offered free legal advice from one of our advisors.

How Do I Complain About NHS Care?

If you’re unhappy with the care that you have received from the NHS, then the first thing you can do is make a complaint directly with the service provider directly. All service providers will have their own complaints procedure, and you should be able to find this on their website or somewhere on their premises. You can complain to the service provider directly or the commissioner who pays for the service, but not both.

You should receive an acknowledgement of your complaint within three months. Once it has been investigated, you will be informed of the findings. If you’re not happy with the way your complaint has been handled, then you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Please leave a message on our instant message Live Chat feature to ask any questions about this issue. Otherwise, read on to find out more about the time limits that apply when claiming.

Is There A Time Limit In Which To Sue The NHS For Misdiagnosis?

There is a time limit for filing any compensation claim. This includes any claims that you make against your local NHS Trust for a misdiagnosis. The time limit is three years, which either runs from the date of the incident or the date you became aware that your symptoms were caused by negligence. The latter is called the date of knowledge.

Children under the age of 18 and people with reduced mental capacity cannot pursue their own compensation claims. Because of this, a litigation friend can be appointed to handle their claim for them, and the time limit is suspended. However, the three-year window begins again when the child turns 18 or if the patient regains full mental capability.

Contact us if you need more insight into the medical negligence claims time limit. Our helpful and friendly advisors could confirm whether you are still within the limitation period to claim.

Calculating Compensation When Suing The NHS For Misdiagnosis

Your compensation would come in two forms. One of these is general damages, which relate to your specific pain and suffering, both physically and psychologically. This would also cover any loss of amenity that you endure due to your health issues. Then there are special damages, which focus on financial costs and losses due to your situation.

General damages will be valued through a medical assessment with an expert who is independent of the case. Here, they will assess your condition and speak with you about the impact it has had on you.

Their findings will be compiled in a report. This report will be used with the help of guidelines from the Judicial College to value your claim.

We have included some of these compensation guidelines in the table below.

Lung Disease Severe£65,710 to £91,350Significant pain limiting mobility & causing an impairment of functions.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Severe£49,270 to £78,840Long-term prevention from working & living a daily life along with psychological trauma.
Other Pain Disorders Severe£39,530 to £59,110Significant symptoms preventing the injured person from working & living a normal daily life.
Spleen Loss£19,510 to £24,680Continuous infection & potential long-term damage to the immune system.
Asbestosis N/A£14,140 to £36,060Where asbestosis can be attributed to 1-10% of lung function impairment.

If you would like to know more about how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis and the damages that could be awarded to you,

Could I Be Compensated For Costs?

The second potential head of a compensation claim is special damages. This is the part of your claim that covers any costs or losses associated with your worsening health.

It could include things like:

  • Travel costs to and from hospital appointments
  • The cost of care as you recover
  • Any loss of earnings for time taken off work
  • The cost of plans that you have paid for but can no longer commit to

You will need to provide evidence of these losses. For this reason, it’s really important to keep hold of things like invoices and receipts that show how the misdiagnosis has affected you.

If you would like to know more about how compensation claims are valued, speak to our team today. You could receive a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim.

How Do You Sue The NHS For Misdiagnosis Under A No Win No Fee Agreement?

A “No Win No Fee” agreement can also be referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement. This sets out the conditions that your lawyer needs to meet before you pay them.

Traditionally, you may have been expected to pay large upfront or ongoing fees to your solicitor in order to obtain legal representation. No Win No Fee agreements avoid this, meaning that you aren’t faced with the financial risk that working with a lawyer often poses.

To sum up No Win No Fee agreements:

  • You won’t pay any upfront costs, and you won’t be asked to make any payments while your claim is ongoing;
  • If the case wins, you pay a legally capped success fee to your solicitor, which is deducted from your compensation;
  • If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t pay anything towards your solicitor’s legal fees.

Make sure to speak to us if you have any questions to ask about how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis on a No Win No Fee basis. You can find our contact details below.

Speak To An Expert

We hope that this guide has given you an answer to the question “how do you sue the NHS for misdiagnosis?”. However, if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Our panel of solicitors could handle your case once they assess its validity. You could potentially be on your way towards receiving the compensation that you’re entitled to.

There are a number of ways to get in touch. You can either call 0800 073 8801, fill out the contact form or use the Live Chat service.

Learn More About NHS Negligence

Hopefully, we have answered the question, “how do you sue the NHS for misdiagnosis?” If you require more information, though, we recommend that you check out these links for further research.

A case study looking at the misdiagnosis of breast cancer.

Can I claim compensation for misdiagnosis?

Making a claim against the NHS for negligence.

A guide to Statutory Sick Pay.

The NHS Constitution.

When should I go to A&E? An NHS guide.


What evidence do I need?

You will need to collect as much evidence as you can regarding the progression of your health, for example, medical records. You should also collect evidence of any financial losses.

What should I include in my complaint to the NHS?

In your complaint, you should include information about your treatment and how it affected you.

What is the misdiagnosis claims procedure?

The claims process for harm caused by a misdiagnosis includes collecting evidence, proving liability and negotiating a settlement award. We also advise that you seek legal advice; however, this is not a requirement.

How much compensation has the NHS paid in the last year?

In its most recent report for 2020/21, NHS Resolution paid £2,209 million in clinical negligence claims.

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How to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis – first steps

When it comes to how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis, the first steps you could take would include establishing whether you had a valid claim. If you’re considering suing the NHS due to negligence that you can prove caused you harm, we could assist. Our expert advisors could speak to you about your potential claim, and we could give you advice on getting started. We could even provide you with a No Win No Fee solicitor if you have evidence of a valid claim. Our advice is free of charge and comes with no obligation to use our services.

How to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis of someone else

How to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis of someone else is also something we could provide advice on. If you are claiming for a child, for example, we could talk you through the process of applying to be their litigation friend.

If you are claiming for a lost loved one due to an NHS misdiagnosis, we could assess your eligibility and provide you with a solicitor to assist you.

Suing the NHS – Where does compensation come from?

If you’re suing the NHS, where your compensation comes from might be a question you’ve asked yourself. If so, we can explain this. Each NHS Trust pays a premium to NHS Resolution. The trusts have a responsibility to have cover in place to cover the costs of claims made against them. This is similar to the requirement for all drivers to have a valid insurance policy. Successful claims would be paid from this cover.

Thank you for reading our guide that answers the question, “how do you sue the NHS for misdiagnosis?” Now you know more about how to sue the NHS for misdiagnosis, you might want to call our team to get started on your claim.

Guide by MA

Edited by FS