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Can I sue the NHS?

The National Health Service (NHS) is an invaluable system that we have in the UK. It is, however, not without its problems at the moment caused by many reasons such as underfunding, lack of resources, the aftermath of Covid, Brexit and many other issues that probably go back years and will take years to put right.

Clearly, anyone working in the NHS does not go to work to harm another person and works hard to take care of patients. Sadly, however, things do go wrong, and mistakes do happen. They may not be negligent mistakes, but sometimes they are.

Very often, due to the news that we hear about the rising costs to the NHS and its problems, some are fearful that investigating their complaint or concern on behalf of a loved one will drain more valuable resources.

To investigate a claim concerning treatment received via the NHS will not cause any additional cost to the NHS. If, after an investigation which would include the review of medical records and independent expert medical opinion and providing the test in law for proving a medical negligence case has been satisfied, your case will be sent to the NHS for a full investigation. Following an investigation, you will be informed if there is an agreement that negligence has occurred and whether compensation will be paid. Compensation and costs are paid to the lawyers for pursuing the claim on your behalf.

Many worry that the doctor/nurse/health professional usually will not be rebuked or disciplined; they will not be unless the matter is exceptional.

Many worry that the compensation and costs incurred are deducted from the over-stretched budget for the NHS services; it is not.

In the UK, you can pursue a claim against the NHS if you believe that they have failed to provide you with the appropriate standard of care and, as a result, have caused you harm or injury. As stated above, it’s important to note that the NHS is a publicly funded organisation with limited resources, which in turn can mean that actions against them can be complex and challenging to pursue, but the NHS is insured.

The NHS Resolution (NHSR –, known formerly as NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), provides liability insurance to NHS organisations and also manages clinical negligence claims made against the NHS. NHSR’s insurance cover is in place to protect NHS organisations, and now GPs, and to help ensure that compensation is available to patients who have suffered harm due to substandard care. The insurance cover provided by the NHSR helps ensure that patients receive fair and appropriate compensation for any harm or injury they may have suffered, even if the individual responsible for the harm is no longer working for the NHS.

Before taking legal action, it is advisable to seek legal advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitor to assess the merits of your case. Graystons is a specialist niche medical negligence practice that can help you with such an enquiry. Feel free to contact one of our friendly team for a no-obligation discussion.

We hope you found this post helpful. If you would like assistance with a medical negligence case, please contact us via our contact form or call us directly on 0151 645 0055


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