Introduction to clinical negligence

How we can help if you're facing allegations of clinical negligence.

Support when you need it

We're here for you throughout what may be a disruptive and distressing process. The team handling your case will include a doctor, a case handler and sometimes a solicitor. You're always welcome to call or write to any member of your team. You can also call our 24-hour advisory helpline on 0800 716 646 for help at any time.

Anticipating the unexpected

You can also contact us about incidents that may trigger a complaint or claim in future. We can help you write an account of your own role at the time of the event. This can be an invaluable investment if a complaint or claim is made at a later stage. So, if a problem occurs, please tell us about it.

Opportunities for resolution

Although we continue to receive a steady stream of claims for clinical negligence, this does not reflect changing standards of clinical practice, which remain very high. Rather, it reflects an increase in patients' expectations and their tendency to resort to litigation in the UK.

Many of the claims we're notified about do not go beyond initial disclosure of medical records. Only 2% of all claims get as far as a court hearing.

Nowadays the legal process is designed to prevent claims without merit going forward to court, so confrontation may be minimised. This is good news for doctors and patients.

However, since time is of the essence, it is more important than ever that you respond promptly and appropriately to correspondence about a claim.

Help us to help you. Find out more about the background to litigation and notification of a claim.

Legal terms are defined in the glossary.

This page was correct at publication on 04/04/2022. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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