If surgical negligence has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Wrong-site surgery is a serious and preventable form of medical negligence, where a surgical procedure is carried out on the wrong part of the body.

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by medical negligence, 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.

You are not alone

'Never events' are defined by the NHS to be incidents that are wholly preventable and that could cause a patient serious harm. These events include incidents where a surgeon has operated on the wrong part of a patient's body (wrong site surgery).

738 general surgery negligence claims were referred to NHS Resolution in 2022/23 (resolution.nhs.uk).

The According to NHS England, there were 410 never events in the 2022/23 period.

Do I have a wrong site surgery claim?

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

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 do I have to start a wrong site surgery claim?

For a wrong site surgery claim, you usually have 3 years to make a claim from the date you became aware of the negligent treatment (date of knowledge).

If you are under 18, a parent, guardian or adult 'litigation friend' can make a claim on your behalf. Once you turn 18, you have until your 21st birthday to start a clinical negligence claim.

How much compensation can I claim for a wrong site surgery?

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.

Wrong site surgery 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 July 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA). The Judicial College publishes a table of guidelines for personal injury awards, to help solicitors to calculate damages.

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 wages, commission and any other income, damage to your car, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as corrective surgery and psychological support.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

The psychological impact of wrong site surgery

If a healthy part is operated on in error, the Courts recognise that a patient may suffer harm both physically and mentally. In addition to the possible psychological trauma, the result of surgery on the healthy part may seriously impact the patient's quality of life and life expectancy.

By delaying the correct surgery, the pain and suffering caused by the patient's existing condition may be unnecessarily prolonged. The patient's condition may also deteriorate, and it is possible that they could develop other complications that would not have occurred if the surgeon had operated on the correct area in the first instance.

Why do wrong site operations happen?

Wrong-site surgeries can result from various factors, including GP negligence leading to the passing of inaccurate information to surgeons, surgeon errors in preoperative planning or during the surgery, and systemic issues like miscommunication among medical staff, incorrect surgical site marking, or misinterpretation of medical data.

These errors often stem from breakdowns in preoperative protocols, rushed procedures, and human factors. Implementing strict checklists and thorough verification processes are essential in order to minimise the risk of wrong-site surgery.

What are the obligations of medical professionals performing operations?

In order to prevent wrong site operations and other never events, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has prescribed a surgical safety check-list.

Any organisation which engages in surgery is obliged to ensure that both an executive and a clinical lead are appointed in order to administer the check-list.

Prior to surgery, WHO states that the patient must be fully informed about exactly what the procedure involves and of any potential risks or side effects of the procedure. The patient must indicate that they understand all these details by providing written consent.

The area of the which is to be operated on should be marked in advance of the surgery, and the medical professionals involved should be fully conversant with the patient's history, including any allergies or increased risks. The surgical team should have a clear understanding of the exact details of the procedure, including specific equipment requirements and any concerns that the patient may have.

Clinical negligence claims

Wrong site surgery injuries are usually categorised as clinical negligence. Click on the icon below for more information.

No win, no fee wrong site surgery compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim wrong site surgery 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?

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  • No obligation to claim

Call 0800 376 1001

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher