Surgery Negligence FAQs

What is surgery negligence?

Most surgical procedures have expected side effects and recovery times. These should be discussed with you before any operation to ensure you are happy to proceed. Swelling, the chance of infection and other minor complications are to be reasonably expected – particularly with more extensive or invasive procedures. However, if you have suffered pain or injury outside of what is expected, or risks were not discussed, it may be as a result of a surgical error by the surgeon.

Mistakes made on the operating table can have a huge effect on your quality of life, causing you significant pain, hardship and even preventing you from working.

What types of surgical negligence are there?

Some of the more common forms of surgical error we see are listed below. There are, however, many other ways that someone might be affected by an error in surgery so, if in doubt, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

  • Anaesthetic problems (e.g. those resulting in anaesthetic awareness or allergic reaction)
  • Mistakes resulting in damage to the brain
  • Damage to structures surrounding site of surgery (e.g. nerves and organs)
  • Failure to remove surgical instruments and swabs
  • Failure to appropriately monitor patient after surgery (e.g. resulting in avoidable complications)
  • Poor surgical performance
  • Unnecessary or incorrect surgery (such as wrong site surgery)
  • Failed sterilisation

Such errors are often completely avoidable. Not only can they have significant physical consequences, but they may also have a lasting psychological impact due to the trauma they cause.

Recent figures have also shown that many surgical errors – which NHS officials openly admit should never happen and are completely avoidable – continue to happen in hospitals across the UK.

Called ‘Never Events’ in the medical profession, because they are serious incidents and errors that are ‘wholly preventable’ and can cause serious harm, happen hundreds of times a year, with almost 1,200 cases recorded in UK hospitals over the past four years.

Mistakes include leaving foreign objects in patients (such as swabs or pieces of medical equipment), to operations taking place on the wrong areas of the body.

Each of these cases would be classed as medical negligence and patients would be likely to have a claim for compensation.

How do I know if I have a claim?

Hudgell Solicitors handle cases of surgical negligence and see first-hand the significant impact such errors can have on the victims and their families. Many errors can leave patients with short-term complications and difficulties, both physical and psychological, whilst others can be life-changing, or even fatal.

We recognise it is a daunting and difficult time undergoing any form of surgery, so for that surgery to go wrong, and a patient to suffer further because of errors made by health professionals, makes for very difficult times.

“Our approach is to dedicate our expertise and resources to finding out exactly what went wrong and why, holding those responsible to account and seeking compensation which truly reflects the suffering and loss caused.

Many families come to us having failed to get answers from hospital Trusts, as we have a track record of investigating such cases, finding out what went wrong, and securing settlements to help people recover and rebuild their lives.

How can Hudgell Solicitors help?

Our team of specialist solicitors have a wealth of experience in handling cases of surgical errors, and will be able to help you work out whether you’ve fallen victim to negligence at the hands of a surgeon. From here, we can then begin to help you establish your case and gather evidence.

Surgical negligence claims can be quite lengthy, so we’ll be here to support you along the way. If the hospital admits they were at fault at an early stage, we can ask for part payment of your compensation claim whilst your injuries resolve.

Our lawyers and medical experts can analyse your medical records to establish exactly what went wrong and how it could have been avoided. This will be combined with a face-to-face assessments with a specialist to work out the extent of your injury and its potential repercussions.

If your claim is successful and your treatment is proven as negligent, you’ll then be entitled to surgery compensation, which can help you regain independence and help recover any lost earnings, making finances one less thing to worry about.

It can also open up options for you to be seen by counsellors, physiotherapists and other experts, helping you get back to normality as soon as possible.

We know that no amount of money can turn back the clock, but it can provide you with the stability you need to move forward with your life.

How do I make a surgery error claim?

If you think you’ve been affected by an error in a surgical procedure you underwent, the best thing you can do is get in touch with one of our experts today. We’re proud to operate under a no win, no fee agreement, which means that there’s absolutely no financial risk in contacting us. You won’t pay a penny in advance, only an agreed percentage of your damages towards costs, if your claim is successful.

Our solicitors are dedicated to supporting you throughout and beyond your claim, and our mission is to do so with regular and clear updates, without using jargon.


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Our experts

Hayley Collinson

Team Supervisor and Solicitor, Clinical Negligence

Nicola Evans

Team Supervisor and Solicitor, Clinical Negligence