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Medical Negligence Claims: Where Do I Start?

View profile for Lauren Goode
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When you require medical assistance, you put your trust in the medical professionals providing your treatment. This may be provided through the National Health Service (NHS) or on a private basis. Whilst the care received within the UK is typically of higher quality and skill, there will still be instances where mistakes have been made and the level of care falls below what is expected.

Unfortunately, you may suffer due to the medical negligence you have sustained. Understandably, there can be confusion on what to do first and who you can turn to.

Who can I claim against?

Any individual or legal entity that owed you a medical duty of care. This will include hospital trusts and all their staff including doctors and nurses, GPs, private medical practices and so on.

Who you pursue will depend on who was responsible for administrating your care i.e. the NHS or private practice.

How do I complain?


The first port of call would typically be to complain to your Hospital Trust’s or GP’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service; also known as PALS. Details should be provided upon request or be available on your provider’s website.

The purpose of this service is for those affected to be provided with a response to any queries over the services they received. The service is independent of the medical services and is there to provide independent and confidential support to affected patients or families.

PALS will assist in lodging complaints of medical negligence with the relevant NHS provider.  

In return, you should receive a meeting, letter or report in response to your complaint of medical negligence. Should you be unhappy with the response, you may request further investigation.

The outcome of any investigation carried out, should provide you with an initial insight in to what went wrong.


If your claim is against a private practice or practitioner, then you will need to file a complaint directly with them. Usually, they will have a complaints team who will carry out any investigations in to medical negligence claims. As above, they should provide a formal response to the complaint.

How long do I have to make a legal claim?

Under medical negligence, you have 3 years from the date of knowledge to commence proceedings in the Courts. This is the date you were first made aware of the injury sustained and that negligence may have occurred.

If the person affected has passed away, it will be 3 years from the date of death.

It can often take time to gather the medical records and evidence for medical negligence claims. Therefore, time is of the essence if you wish to pursue a claim.

Who should I speak with?

If you or a family member have suffered injury and potentially financial loss due to medical negligence, it is important to seek specialist legal advice to understand your position and rights to compensation. Contact our specialist team of Medical Negligence Solicitors in Birmingham through our contact page, or get in touch with Lauren Goode directly for more information at