If a private hospital negligence injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward

The process of claiming medical negligence compensation against a private practitioner is similar to claiming against the NHS, but there are key differences.

This guide focuses on the process of pursuing a claim for clinical negligence against a private hospital or clinic, explaining how to establish the hospital's failure to meet its' legal duty of care, documenting the impact of the negligence on your health, and navigating the complexities of the legal system.

With nearly 14,000 clinical negligence claims a year, you're not alone

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

Every patient is entitled to expect a reasonable standard of care in the treatment provided to them by healthcare staff, whether that treatment is provided through a private organisation or the NHS.

If the standard of care you received fell below the expected standard, and you suffered avoidable harm as a result, you may be entitled to claim for medical negligence.

Am I entitled to make a private hospital claim?

You can claim private hospital compensation if a medical professional's substandard treatment caused you harm.

Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.

How long do I have to start a private hospital claim?

You usually have 3 years to make a private hospital claim. The timelimit starts from the date you discovered you were injured by negligent care (the date of knowledge).

For injured children, a claim can be started by a parent or guardian at any time before the child turns 18. Thereafter, the injured individual has until their 21st birthday to make a claim on their own.

How much compensation can I claim for a private hospital negligence?

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.

Private hospital negligence 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 May 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

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred because of your accident. In addition to paying for loss of earnings, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as corrective treatment and psychological support.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

Does a medical negligence claim have to be for a life altering event?

Any medical negligence can have a detrimental effect on a person. A procedure that was intended to be an investment towards an improved health or lifestyle may instead become a source of source of pain, poor health, physical disfigurement, or psychological trauma.

Claims may be for results of surgery or arise from care received in hospitals for various conditions. These may include cancer treatments, child birth, injuries to children, brain or spinal injury. When a patient's referral to a medical specialist or diagnosis is delayed a claim may be brought against the GP.

Even if the procedure was carried out electively, if it goes wrong the claimant may be able to pursue a claim for compensation from the practitioner who carried out the work.

How does claiming against a private practitioner differ?

Medical negligence claims against a private practitioner are similar to those against the NHS, but some key differences may occur.

Private hospital claims are usually made against the hospital itself or the individual practitioner. In contrast, claims against the NHS are typically directed at the NHS Trust responsible for the hospital or facility where the negligence occurred.

Private hospitals and practitioners have private professional indemnity insurance, whereas claims against the NHS are handled by NHS Resolution, a specialised arm dealing with claims. Compensation from private claims is usually paid by insurance companies, whereas in NHS claims, it comes from NHS funds.

Although both private and NHS claims require proof of negligence and causation, the specific procedures, protocols, and interactions with the defendant can vary.

In private practice a patient may enter directly into a contract with the healthcare provider. A certain outcome may be guaranteed as part of the contract. Where the outcome falls below what was guaranteed it may be also possible to claim on that basis.

Making a claim

This can sometimes be complicated as there are often a number of different individuals involved in the patient's treatment and care. Private hospitals and clinics may be part of a larger group, and a procedure, which appeared to be through the NHS, may have been provided by a private organisation.

It is essential to identify the individual or organisation against who the claim may be brought in order to proceed.

Be aware that all surgical procedures come with some risk. Wound infections and scarring can occur without any medical negligence having taken place. Similarly, dissatisfaction with the results may be no-one's fault.

If it can be demonstrated that the medical professional was negligent, and your suffering was caused as a result, then the you may be able to pursue a claim for medical negligence.

Clinical negligence claims

Private hospital injuries are usually categorised as clinical negligence. Click on the icon below for more information.

No win, no fee private hospital negligence compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim private hospital negligence 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

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to a medical negligence specialist about your claim?

  • Calls are FREE
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  • No obligation to claim

Call 0800 376 1001

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher