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NHS compensation payouts guide

Reviewed by
Peter Rigby, Director of Medical Neglience

NHS Compensation Payouts Guide

In this guide, we will provide you with vital information about the NHS compensation process and all things related to payouts. The National Health Service (NHS) is one of the largest healthcare providers in the world, and it operates in a complex legal and regulatory environment. Unfortunately, medical accidents and negligence can sometimes occur, resulting in physical, emotional, and financial harm to patients. If you or a loved one has suffered due to a medical error, you may be entitled to compensation. 

This guide will offer you a comprehensive understanding of the NHS compensation and payouts process, including the types of claims you can make, the evidence you will need, and how to navigate the legal system to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

When visiting the hospital, the expectation is that we receive medical care and treatment that makes us better. While the staff, specialists, and doctors at NHS typically deliver on this promise, there are times when care or treatment falls below a standard of quality we are used to. Sometimes, that standard falls so far below the expected level that it is considered negligent.

If you have experienced poor quality care while receiving medical treatment from the NHS that resulted in injury or harm, or made your condition worse, you may have a claim for NHS negligence compensation.

What Are NHS Negligence Payouts?

When a health professional or facility like the NHS provides treatment that is below the standard of care you expect and deserve, a compensation claim attempts to return you back to the quality of life you were in before the care was received. When that isn’t physically possible, a medical negligence claim may be a viable way to help make your life more comfortable after a devastating or life-altering event at the hands of the NHS.

The amount of your NHS negligence payout depends on several factors revolving around the injury and losses you or your loved one incurred as well as any costs needed to help your recovery or help ensure you live the best possible life now and in the future. Our expert legal team is here to help determine the amount of your compensation if you believe you have an NHS negligence claim.

What is the average payout for an NHS negligence claim?

According to the NHS Resolution, the body for resolving disputes, , the NHS paid out £2.6 billion in clinical negligence compensation for the period 2022/23. In 2021/22 the NHS paid out £2.4 billion.

Just like every medical condition presents differently from one person to the next, an NHS negligence payout  is unlikely to be exactly the same between patients. Negligence may be a missed diagnosis, an incorrect prescription, or a botched surgery, and each of these cases results in varied harm or injury to the individual. Because the variations are so broad, cases for NHS negligence compensation can range anywhere from £1,000 up to many millions of pounds in the most severe cases.

Examples of Medical Negligence Payouts

NHS medical negligence payouts in the UK have steadily increased over the last several years. The total number of compensation claims in 2021/22  rose from 13,351 to 15,078. However, most recently, the total of compensation claims in 2022/23 sat at 13,511 which is a decrease from last year.  While the amount received after harm or injury varies greatly, there have been cases that have made headlines, due in part to the amount received.

One such example is the family of a young boy who were awarded £37 million after failings by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust left the child brain damaged and needing life-long care. There are several other notable NHS negligence claims where harmed patients and their families have received more than £2 million based on the damages they incurred.

Another example is when a woman received a £1 million NHS compensation payout her rare vein condition was misdiagnosed as gastritis by County Durham NHS Foundation Trust. The long term effects of the misdiagnosis have meant that the claimant now suffers with permanent liver damage and has been advised against having more children due to the risks pregnancy now poses.

NHS Negligence Claims Statistics

In 2017 – 2018, the NHS paid out more than £1.63 billion for negligence compensation claims. This figure has increased significantly, now totalling more than £2.6 billion as of 2022/23 figures. Notable NHS negligence claim statistics include:

  • NHS negligence claims span many specialties, with the largest percentage of compensation awards involving obstetrics
  • Over the 2022 to 2023 period, the NHS settled 13,499 claims
  • 77% of claims in 2021 to 2022 were settled without court proceedings. In 2022/23, 80% of claims were settled without court proceedings. 
  • The number of claims resolved without payment of damages equalled 6,611


How is the Payout Amount Calculated?

For each NHS negligence compensation case, the amount received differs based on the damages incurred. Less serious cases may have a smaller payout because the injury was relatively minor, while more serious cases that involve life-altering consequences have far larger compensation payouts.

Assessing each claim to calculate the amount of damages to be paid out is a complex task, making it necessary to get in touch with us if you believe you have an NHS negligence claim. Our solicitors understand how to best calculate what you may receive based on your unique experience and circumstances. You absolutely need a specialist who understands medical clams, in order to ensure you get the right amount of compensation. You can read more about NHS compensation calculators here.

How Do I Sue the NHS for Negligence?

The first step in bringing an NHS negligence claim is to give us a call or fill out our brief online claim form. With our expert team on the line, we have an opportunity to understand what happened and if a claim for compensation is the solution without any upfront financial risk to you.

What can be claimed for after NHS Negligence?

In order to have a successful case for NHS negligence compensation, it is necessary to break down damages into specific categories. These include:

  • General damages – general damages involve compensation for pain and suffering related to the harm or injury caused by NHS negligence.
  • Medical expenses – these are the costs incurred to return to health after harm or injury due to negligence at the hands of the NHS.
  • Out of pocket losses – compensation may also be awarded for losses such as travel expenses, like those required to get back and forth between treatment or follow up care appointments.
  • Loss of earnings – you may also be able to claim for compensation if you have to take off from work due to your injury. If you can never return to work, then you can also claim for future loss of earnings.
  • Care claim – if you need assistance during your recovery from a carer, you may receive compensation for that help as well. In more serious cases where care is needed indefinitely, either by a loved one or a professional carer, then those costs can be claimed also.

Why Choose Patient Claim Line

Patient Claim Line has a strong track record of bringing claims for compensation against the NHS when negligence resulting in harm or injury has occurred. We’re the highest rated Medical Negligence specialists on Trustpilot and our legal team has over 400 years combined experience in this area of law. We are owned and operated by the UK’s largest Medical Negligence law firm. Our dedicated team recognises how important it is to receive what you deserve to cover pain and suffering, loss of earnings, and other damages you incurred because of a blunder with the NHS. Our solicitors have an excellent reputation for providing the best legal assistance without the stress of any out-of-pocket expenses. The combination of our expertise and our no win, no fee arrangement makes bringing a claim and receiving a compensation payout after NHS negligence much more straightforward.

We operate on a no win, no fee basis. This means that when you work with us to pursue your claim, you have peace of mind knowing that there are no fees to pay if the case is unsuccessful. The fees incurred for legal assistance are only obtained if compensation is awarded after a successful claim. If there is no award paid, you don’t owe us anything.

If you think you have a claim because of negligence after visiting the NHS, get in touch with us today. You can call 0330 107 5328 to receive free guidance on your case, or simply complete the claim form online.

Frequently asked questions about NHS Negligence Payouts

Our expert legal team answer your questions about making a misdiagnosis claim.