Clinical and medical negligence

We have extensive experience in dealing with clinical and medical negligence claims.

If you have been injured as a result of clinical negligence then you may be able to make a claim for compensation against those who were in charge of your care.

There are a range of healthcare professionals from nurses, dentists, doctors and surgeons providing treatment whether it is for a minor check-up or serious surgery. All healthcare professionals owe their patients a duty of care when providing treatment. We place ourselves in the hands of those we trust. Unfortunately that trust is often broken when professional standards are not upheld through the negligence of a medical professional. This can have dreadful consequences for the patient and their family.

The NHS delivers a high level of care. A great deal of trust is placed in the medical professional’s advice. Sometimes advice and procedures go wrong and as a result of this a medical practitioner fails to provide the duty of care that they are obliged to do. This can include a failed or delayed diagnosis or a failure to warn you of the risks of a specific treatment, medical errors and careless surgical procedures such as use of unsterilised instruments. If you have experienced this then you may be entitled to make a claim under what is commonly known as a “clinical negligence” or “medical negligence”.

Medical negligence claims can also be made against healthcare providers in the private sector such as hospitals, surgeons, dentists and plastic surgeons. If you have suffered as a result of poor medical treatment you may be entitled to claim compensation for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

We can assist our clients in:

  • Surgical claims;
  • Misdiagnosis claims;
  • Dental negligence;
  • Birthing and obstetrics claims; and
  • Cosmetic surgery claims.

Even with minor negligence claims our clients may still face a period of recovery and pain which is through no fault of theirs. Therefore, each negligence claim has a different impact upon each of our clients and therefore a bespoke and thoughtful approach is taken to each matter to assist each of our clients with their recovery.
When looking at bringing a claim there are a number of factors to consider.

Should you think that you have a potential clinical negligence claim then please contact us on 01274 924200 or email us at and a member of our clinical and medical negligence team will contact you.

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Duty of care

In clinical negligence cases proving the duty of care owed by the medical professionals who provided the treatment is a relatively easy task once the doctor patient relationship has been established.

Breach of duty of care

The medical professional will only be negligent when it can be shown that the treatment they provided fell below the duty of care expected of them. The expected level of care is set by the medical profession and any actions taken by the medical professionals will nearly always be determined by expert evidence.


This issue is usually the most complex issue in these types of cases. Again, it is determined by expert medical evidence. However, when it comes to issues of facts these are determined by lay evidence. It is for the expert to consider whether on the balance of probabilities the patient would have suffered the injury but for the negligence of the medical profession.

The most common types of medical negligence cases are those which involve a failure to diagnose an illness or a failure to treat.

Consent to the treatment

Consent is governed by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Consent requires the patient to be informed of the various risks and benefits of undergoing the proposed treatment and also alternative treatments.

In relation to children the Family Law Reform Act 1969 and the Children Act 1989 provide the guidelines for the consent of children.

Defence to the breach of duty of care

The most common form of defence in clinical negligence claims are that there has been no breach of the duty of care or causation. Occasionally other defences may be run but these are rare.

It must be noted that there is a duty to mitigate on the part of the claiming party. Therefore, the recommendations of treatment to the injured party to rectify the injury or improve it may be relevant.

Breach of contract

If the injured party had sought private treatment then it is likely to be the case that they were also owed a duty pursuant to the contract. This would be in addition to the duty owed by virtue of tort. However, unless there are express warranties within the contract for the treatment then those duties are likely to be the same as those in tort.


Complaints are directed towards the NHS complaints system. However, it should be noted that this procedure does not provide the injured party with any compensation. In cases where it is appropriate, an apology may be provided and sometimes this may suffice for the injured party.

Should the NHS procedure investigation yield an inappropriate outcome then a complaint can be raised with the Health Service Ombudsman.

A complaint could also be raised with the medical professionals regulatory body such as the General Medical Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council or the General Dental Council. However, again this will not provide the injured party with financial compensation. Instead the regulatory body is concerned with either the medical professional is fit to practice or whether their fitness to practice has been impaired.