If a hospital infection has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Hospital-acquired infections can extend hospital stays and lead to further health complications. Compensation claims can seek to cover the additional treatment required, the potential for worsened conditions, and the overall impact on your recovery.

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a hospital acquired infection, we can help. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, midwife or other medical professional, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist clinical negligence solicitor.

With over 13,000 clinical negligence claims a year, you're not alone

In recent years, there have been a number of outbreaks at UK hospitals of serious infectious diseases, including MRSA, C. difficile and E. coli.

It is estimated that 300,000 patients are infected during their stay in hospital. (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE))

13,511 new clinical negligence claims were referred to NHS Resolution in 2022/23 (resolution.nhs.uk).

If you were infected as a result of hospital or NHS trust negligence, you may be able to claim financial compensation.

Do I qualify for hospital infection compensation?

If you received treatment from a medical professional that fell below the accepted standard of care, and you were harmed as a result, you can claim compensation for medical negligence.

Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.

How long after a hospital infection do I have to claim compensation?

For a hospital infection claim, you usually have 3 years to make a claim from the date you became aware that the harm you suffered was caused by substandard treatment (date of knowledge).

The 3 year limitation period does not apply to minors (under 18s). A parent, guardian or litigation friend can start a claim on a child's behalf up to their 18th birthday and the child has until their 21st birthday to claim for themselves.

How much compensation can I claim for a hospital infection?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

Hospital infection compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated April 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

If it can be proved that your injury left you unable to work, special damages can be awarded for any lost earnings, loss of commission or bonuses, and loss of pension contributions. It may also be possible to claim for loss of future earnings, if the medical prognosis establishes that you won't be able to work for any period in the future.

These damages will also cover the cost of any medical procedures you might need to treat or recover from your hospital infection such as antibiotics, isolation and.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

How should hospitals manage hygiene standards?

Hospitals are required to have very strict controls over hygiene. Most hospital acquired infections can be prevented or contained if simple procedures, such as washing hands thoroughly with soap and water, are followed by hospital staff.

The spread of COVID has shown how important it is that hygiene measures are rigorously enforced to protect older and vulnerable patients.

What hospital infections can I claim compensation for?

You may be able to claim compensation for any hospital-acquired infection that was caused by another party's negligence.

How the infection occurs, and how your symptoms are treated, can help to determine liability.

Infections can spread if the correct hygiene procedures are not followed.

Following a series of serious breaches, a 'duty of candour' is now imposed on hospital staff to report negligence they witness, including failures to observe correct hygiene procedures.

How does hospital-acquired infection happen?

Most hospital acquired infections are usually transmitted by skin to skin contact with an infected person. A person becomes infected when the bacteria enter his or her body.

Hospital patients are particularly vulnerable to infection. There are three main reasons for this:

  • Firstly, a patient's immune system may be weaker than that of a healthy person. This increases the risk of an infection becoming symptomatic.
  • Secondly, patients may have open wounds, burns, sores or their skin may have been pierced in order to insert a catheter. This makes it easier for bacteria to enter the .
  • Thirdly, a hospital is a busy environment in which people move freely from one part to another. This makes it easier for infectious bacteria to spread.

If you decide to make a hospital infection claim, your medical negligence solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.

Can I claim for MRSA?

This is the best known of all hospital acquired infections. Its symptoms can vary depending on what part of the is affected. It is possible for someone to carry the virus but not show any of its symptoms.

Some common symptoms include:

  • The appearance of one or more painful red spots on the skin;
  • Fever
  • Chills;
  • Dizziness and confusion;
  • Pain, tenderness and swelling in the affected part of the ; and
  • A general feeling of being unwell.

If not treated, MRSA can develop into cellulitis, an infection of the deeper layers of the skin. This causes the infected person's temperature to rise and their skin to turn red and become swollen and painful. It can also lead to the following serious conditions:

  • Sepsis (blood poisoning);
  • Urinary tract infection;
  • Osteomyelitis (inflammation of bone marrow); and
  • Septic arthritis.

If you were infected with MRSA during treatment at hospital, you may be able to claim compensation. Your solicitor will determine whether the standard of care you received fell below the acceptable standard.

Can I claim for C.difficile infection?

C. difficile bacteria can survive for months on objects and surfaces. This makes it very dangerous. Although C. difficile is not particularly harmful to healthy people, it is much more threatening to people with a weakened immune system.

Common symptoms include the repeated passing of watery, foul-smelling diarrhoea and abdominal pains and cramping.

C. difficile can also cause an infected person's colon to become inflamed. This condition is known as colitis and its symptoms include:

  • Frequent bouts of diarrhoea;
  • Fever;
  • Dehydration; and
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss.

You may be able to claim compensation for hospital-acquired C.difficile infection. You may also be able to claim if you received substandard treatment for dehydration and other C.difficile symptoms.

Can I claim for E. coli infection?

This can be caused by eating undercooked food or unpasteurised milk. It can also be passed in some circumstances by skin to skin contact with an infected person.

Symptoms can include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.

In severe cases, it can lead to haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a serious disease which can lead to kidney failure.

You can claim compensation for E. coli infection, if another party's negligence caused your injury. Your solicitor can help identify the source of your infection, and therefore who was liable for your illness.

See also:

Medical negligence compensation claims

What happened?

The compensation claims process will depend on where and how your hospital infection occurred. Click the icons below for more information:

No win, no fee hospital infection compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim hospital infection compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

How we can help you with your medical negligence claim

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning medical negligence claims.

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The Good Solicitor Guide

Case study

£100,000 award for delays in hospital treatment

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Citations

Source: (reviewed: 12/12/2023)

Chris Salmon, Director

Author:
Chris Salmon, Director