How To Make A Medical Negligence Claim For Delays In Treatment

I Was Harmed By A Negligent Delay In Treatment, Could I Claim Compensation?

medical negligence claims for delays in treatment

Delay in treatment medical negligence

By Brett Williams. Last updated 7th August 2021. Many injuries or illnesses are time-bound, meaning that they can worsen if not treated within a specific time frame. In some instances, the injury or illness might become more serious, or lead to the patient suffering complications. In other instances, such as a patient suffering from cancer, the timing of the detection can make the difference between surviving the disease or not. Therefore, a medical negligence delay in treatment can put the patient’s life at risk. In this guide, we’ll look at medical negligence claims for delays in treatment.

Whether you have been harmed because of a delay in surgery, delay in treatment for a fracture, delay in treatment of an infection, delay in cancer treatment, or any other type of medical malpractice delay, contact Accident Claims UK to see if you can claim compensation. If you have grounds to claim, we can introduce you with an expert personal injury solicitor to handle your claim. Your compensation package will include money to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that you have experienced as a result of your injuries, and funds to pay for any medical treatment or specialist care you may be in need of because of your delayed medical care treatment.

Contact Accident Claims UK today on 0800 073 8801, or use our online claims form, to begin your claim. If we can see that you have legitimate grounds to make a personal injury compensation claim, we can provide you with an excellent medical negligence solicitor to handle your case. Call now or read the rest of our guide to find out more.

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A Guide To Medical Negligence Claims For Delays In Treatment

If medical treatment is delayed because a doctor misdiagnosed an injury, illness or medical condition, this has the potential to significantly harm the patient. Below, we will look at what a medical malpractice delay of treatment is and we will also look at how specific types of delays in medical treatment can affect patients. We shall examine what criteria is necessary to make a clinical negligence claim for a treatment delay and explain how you could claim medical negligence compensation.

Medical negligence claims for delays in treatment may be possible if a doctor, nurse or other medical professionals cause a patient to suffer due to delayed treatment. Suffering caused by delays in diagnosis, surgery or taking action during problematic births could also lead to a claim.

Whether you were harmed because your GP delayed treatment, you experienced delayed treatment in an ambulance, an A&E department delayed treatment or your hospital delayed treatment, we can help. Call Accident Claims UK today for your free consultation and if you have legitimate grounds to claim, we can provide you with an excellent medical negligence lawyer to handle your case. In the tragic circumstance that your relative died because their medical treatment was delayed, you could also claim compensation on their behalf.

What Is A Treatment Delay Due To Negligence?

All medical practitioners, such as doctors and nurses, have a duty of care towards their patients. This means that they are supposed to provide them with adequate standards of medical care and treatment in a timely manner. If a medical practitioner provides a patient with substandard care and they are harmed as a result, for example injured, made ill, or they experience an unnecessary worsening of their pre-existing medical condition, this is known as medical negligence. If a patient experiences medical negligence, also known as clinical negligence or medical malpractice, the medical organisation the doctor works for, such as a hospital, or a GP surgery, could be held liable for the patient’s injuries and have to pay the patient compensation.

A treatment delay is when a patient’s treatment is unnecessarily delayed because of a medical error, or substandard care on the part of a medical practitioner or institution. Treatment delays can be classed as medical malpractice if they were avoidable and resulted in the patient being harmed. As a result of a medical error which delays a patient getting the treatment they need, a patient’s medical condition can be worsened, which may mean that they have to undergo more complex or invasive treatments that would have been otherwise avoidable. In other cases, the patient can experience unnecessary complications caused by their treatment delay, which has a permanent effect on their quality of life.

Where Treatment Delays Could Happen

Treatment delays can happen in many different types of settings or medical organisations. Claims can be made against the NHS Trust where you were treated, or against a private healthcare provider.

Let’s look at where treatment delays can happen:

GP Surgery

A GP (general practitioner) will see patients for minor illnesses and medical complaints. They can offer diagnoses and prescribe patients the medication they need. If a patient is showing signs of a more serious medical condition, a GP can refer them to a specialist department at a hospital , for further investigation and treatment.

A GP delaying treatment could happen for any number of reasons. They may fail to spot the signs of a serious illness and not refer the patient for the treatment they need. Or they could mistake one medical condition for another and the patient could receive unnecessary treatment or receive medication that has a toxic effect on their body. GPs may delay treatment if they do not take a patient’s complaints seriously. For example, a patient may complain of extreme pain and a doctor might prescribe pain killers, dismissing the extent of the patient’s suffering and not checking to see if the pain could be symptomatic of another problem.


Patients go to specialist departments in hospitals for diagnosis and treatment. In some cases, a person might have to stay in the hospital for a period of time to receive treatment or to undergo an operation. Delayed treatment can happen in a hospital if a patient is not correctly diagnosed. Hospital delayed treatment can also happen because of administrative errors or organisational faults. There are often long waiting lists for operations in hospitals, so a patient could have their operation cancelled or delayed and left to wait a long time before getting another appointment.

To discuss medical negligence claims for delays in treatment against a hospital, why not speak with us today?

A&E Department

In emergency medical situations, such as a heart attack, patients can experience delayed treatment if the attending paramedics fail to apply the appropriate life saving first aid. Delayed treatment in an ambulance can also occur if the paramedics don’t take the right steps to arrive and bring the patient to the hospital promptly. For example, there was an incident in London where a young woman had an epileptic fit and soiled herself. The paramedics refused to take her to the hospital until her mother and her aunt cleaned her up. This delayed the journey to hospital and she died as a result.

Delays can happen if doctors working in Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments don’t recognise the signs of an injury or illness and misdiagnose the patient. This means the patient can be sent home without receiving the necessary treatment. Unfortunately, some illnesses and injuries can be difficult to spot. Hospital A&E departments are often busy and understaffed, putting pressure on the doctors and nurses that work there, making delayed treatment more likely.

Some medical conditions are particularly time-sensitive. We will look at what they are and what can happen if there is a treatment delay, or surgery delay, below.

Delays In Treating Fractures

A fracture is a broken or cracked bone. Fractures can be very painful and debilitating. However, if a fracture is diagnosed and treated early, it will usually be treated by reduction (setting the bone into the correct position) and immobilisation (using a brace, cast or splint to keep the bone in place whilst it heals). Unfortunately, the misdiagnosis of fractures can lead to unnecessary complications.

Firstly, the patient may experience unnecessary pain if they are suffering from a fracture and are sent home with just pain killers, instead of the treatment they actually need. What’s more, the delay in the treatment of a fracture can mean that a fracture injury deteriorates, so the patient has to undergo surgery that would not have been necessary had they had the correct treatment when they first went to a doctor or hospital.

In more extreme cases, delays in the treatment of fractures can cause the patient to suffer irreversible complications, such as osteomyelitis, which can cause the patient to lose a limb if it goes untreated, or a fat embolism which can be life-threatening. Other complications, such as osteoarthritis, can seriously impact the patient’s quality of life. If you have had your fracture worsened or suffered from additional complications as the result of delayed medical treatment, call Accident Claims UK to see if you could be entitled to compensation.

Delays In Surgical Treatment

If a patient experiences a delay in surgical treatment, they may experience prolonged suffering whilst waiting for an operation. There are also conditions that can worsen over time, so a surgical delay can detrimentally impact the patient’s chance of making a full recovery, or in some cases may shorten their life expectancy. For example, a woman who lived near Manchester discovered a lump in her breast and was referred to a specialist department at a hospital to have the lump removed.

Unfortunately, the hospital kept on delaying the operation. Unable to obtain a date for the operation, the woman had the operation done at a private hospital, at great personal expense to herself. Unfortunately, after the lump was removed it was found to be cancerous and the woman needed a breast reduction and mastectomy operation, which caused her great psychological distress. These drastic measures would not have been necessary had the patient not experienced a delay in surgery.

Delays In Treatment Which Could Worsen A Condition

Some acute conditions can worsen if they are not diagnosed and treated immediately. For example, if a patient is suffering from appendicitis, they will need their appendix removed as soon as possible, or their appendix could burst , possibly killing them. Delays in treatment of infection caused by misdiagnosis or other types of medical negligence can worsen the patient’s condition and make it harder to treat. Infections such as sepsis can be fatal if the patient experiences a significant delay in the treatment of the infection. Delays in treatment can also endanger a mother and child during childbirth, for example, if a doctor doesn’t determine quickly enough that a mother needs a cesarean.

If your medical condition has worsened, because of a delay in treatment, call Accident Claims UK today to see if you are eligible to claim compensation.

Delays In Treatment Leading To Terminal Outcomes

In some instances delaying medical treatment can cause a patient to die unnecessarily. In other cases, such as a brain aneurysm, renal disease, or some heart conditions, a patient could potentially have lived longer, or had a better quality of life in their final days, had they not experienced delayed medical treatment.

If you wish to claim on behalf of a now-deceased relative who died because of delays in medical treatment or suffered more than was necessary, call Accident Claims UK to speak to one of our understanding advisers.

Medical Negligence Delays In Treating Cancers

With cancer, it is essential that patients receive an early diagnosis and are treated as soon as possible. Cancer can swiftly spread, meaning a delay could impact the treatments available to the patient.  For instance, cancer that could have been treated surgically, if untreated may worsen and need chemotherapy or radiotherapy. As well as getting worse over time, cancer can also spread to other organs if it is left untreated, making it even more dangerous. Sadly, in some cases of delayed medical treatment of cancer, the patient dies a death that could have been avoided had they been treated at an earlier date.

Has your cancer worsened because of a delay in treatment or a surgical delay? Then you may be able to claim compensation for the worsening of your medical condition. If you’ve lost a relative to cancer because of unnecessary medical treatment delays, you could be entitled to make a claim on their behalf. Call Accident Claims UK to find out more about how we can help with medical negligence claims for delays in treatment.

Eligibility To Claim For Harm Caused By Medical Treatment

To be eligible to claim medical negligence compensation, you must be able to prove the following:

  1. That you were owed a duty of care by the medical organisation where you were being treated
  2. That the medical organisation breached their duty of care, in this instance, causing a delay
  3. As a result of the breach, or delay, you were injured, suffered an illness,     complication, or worsening of your medical condition

Call Accident Claims UK today to see if you are owed delayed treatment compensation.

Calculating Compensation For Negligent Delays In Medical Treatment – Updated August 2021

If you make a successful personal injury claim for compensation, you will be awarded a package of compensation which can be divided into two headings: general damages and special damages.

General damages awards claimants for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity they have experienced as a result of their injuries. You can use our personal injury claims calculator to estimate how much compensation you could be awarded for your injuries. The calculator does not include special damages you could claim and only gives an estimate. The value of each case depends on the facts of that particular claim.

What Injury Did You Sustain?How Serious Was It?About The InjurySettlement (with 10% uplift)
Kidney injuryLevel ACompensating the claimant for losing or severe injury to both of the kidneys.£158,970 - £197,480
Kidney injuryLevel BSettlement to compensate for a significant (future) risk of loss of kidney function or future related illnesses.Approximate maximum £60,050
Kidney injuryLevel CKidney injuries in which one of the kidneys is lost whilst the remaining kidney is fully functioning.£28,880 - £42,110
(Internal) Chest injuryLevel AInternal chest injuries could include injuries to the heart.£94,470 - £140,870
Non traumatic injuriesLevel (i)A level (i) non-traumatic injury might present as a severe level of toxicosis. Symptoms experienced by the claimant could include vomiting, diarrhoea, vomiting, pain and fever. £36,060 - £49,270
Non traumatic injuriesLevel (ii)Whilst illnesses and symptoms could be short-lived, they might still be serious to the claimant. Such symptoms could affect the bowels and sexual function.£8,950 - £18,020
Non traumatic injuriesLevel (iii)A non-traumatic injury might leave the claimant with some level of discomfort. They may require hospital admission and this illness might last for several weeks.£3,710 - £8,950
Non traumatic injuries(level iv)A level (iv) non-traumatic injury could cause suffering which present as the following symptoms: stomach cramps, pain and diarrhoea.£860 - £3,710

For a free assessment of medical negligence claims for delays in treatment, please feel free to call when you’re ready to get the ball rolling.

What Are Special Damages And Could I Claim Them?

Special damages reimburse the claimant for any out of pocket expenses they have incurred      as a result of their injuries. This can include medical expenses for the medical care you have needed or will need in the future. Some examples of special damages that medical negligence claimants often claim include: medical expenses, travel expenses, mobility equipment expenses, home or car adaptation expenses, care expenses, loss of income or future loss of income expenses.

No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claims For Treatment Delays

If you wish to claim compensation for a medical negligence treatment delay but you are worried about funding a claim upfront, our solicitors can offer you the option of entering into a No Win No Fee Agreement. This means that should your claim be unsuccessful you will not have to pay any of your solicitors fees. If you are successful, your solicitor will deduct from your compensation what’s known as a ‘success fee’. Other than the success fee, you do not have to pay anything else. To find out more about the benefits of making a No Win No Fee medical negligence claim and to begin your claim, call Accident Claims UK today.

Begin A Medical Negligence Claim

If you have had your medical condition worsened, suffered unnecessary complications, been made ill or injured because of medical negligence and delays, you could be owed compensation. Use our online claims form to contact us or call us for your free personal injury consultation. If you have the right to claim, one of our excellent medical negligence solicitors will start working on your case right away. So call now! We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Medical negligence claims for delays in treatment – FAQs

Is delayed treatment medical negligence?

Where a delay in treatment occurs because your condition was misdiagnosed or you were not sent for specialists tests, a medical negligence claim may be possible if the delay caused you to suffer.

Is there a time limit for medical negligence claims?

In the UK, medical negligence claims have a 3-year time limit. Whilst that would ordinarily begin from the date you were injured or made ill, in delayed treatment cases it could start later. That’s because you may not find out about your doctor’s negligence until a later date when your condition is properly treated.

Do NHS claims go to court?

Claims made against the NHS will be dealt with by NHS Resolution. In most cases (around 98%) claims are settled out of court.

Where To Learn More

Medical Negligence Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation – Learn more about medical negligence claims in this general guide.

Misdiagnosis Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation – Learn more about how you could claim compensation if harmed by medical misdiagnosis.

Medical Negligence Leading To Death Compensation Amounts – Claims Guide Learn more about how you could claim for fatal medical negligence.

External Resources

A Cancer Research Guide To Claiming Compensation For Cancer Negligence – Information from Cancer Research UK

A Citizens Advice Bureau Guide To Taking Legal Action Against The NHS – Information from the Citizens Advice Bureau

Thank you for reading our guide on making medical negligence claims for delays in treatment.

Article by HC

Editor HW/RBG