How Do You Sue The NHS For Misdiagnosis?

By Marlon Fawkes. Last Updated 9th March 2023. 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.

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How to sue the NHS for a misdiagnosis guide

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

NHS Misdiagnosis Claims – Complaint Procedure To Claim For Misdiagnosis

You have a right to make a complaint about any treatment or care you receive through the NHS that you’re unhappy with. The government provides official guidance on the complaints procedure that can give you more insight into who you would need to contact to officially make a complaint against the NHS for your misdiagnosis and care. You will be expected to do this within 12 months of the incident. If you are unhappy with the response, you can present your complaint to the official Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Filing an official report can be beneficial to you, as an investigation into your care could be conducted. If the findings support your claim, you could be able to use this as part of the evidence of negligence you present in your claim for a misdiagnosis that has caused you harm.

You can reach out to one of our advisers for more information about how to make an official complaint or other forms of evidence that could help you.

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.

Injury Notes Amount
Kidney (a) Both kidneys are lost, or are permanently damaged. £169,400 to £210,400
Kidney (b) Total loss of the kidney’s natural function with a serious risk of future urinary tract infections. Up to £63,980
Bowels (a) Complete loss of the bowels natural function as well ad the urinary’s control and function with other medical complications. Up to £184,200
Reproductive System: Female (a) Infertility that cause severe depression and sexual dysfunction. May also resulted from serious medical complications such as failing to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy. £114,900 to £170,280
Lung Disease (b) Impairment of the lungs function and severe pain due to lung cancer (usually in an older person). £70,030 to £97,330
Bladder (c) Serious impairment of the bladder’s control that causes some pain with incontinence. £63,980 to £79,930
Lung Disease (c) Difficulty breathing and worsening lung function due to a lung disease such as emphysema. £54,830 to £70,030
Asthma (a) Permanent and disabling asthma that causes regular coughing and with restrict employment prospects. £43,060 to £65,740
Digestive System (b)(i) Vomiting, fever and acute pain caused by severe toxicosis that will also require hospital admission. £38,430 to £52,500
Spleen (a) The spleen is lost which causes a risk of internal infections due to the immune system being damaged. £20,800 to £26,290

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.

Guide by MA

Edited by FS