May 29, 2015

NHS faces “unprecedented” number of clinical negligence claims

Hospitals and other medical facilities are facing an unprecedented number of new claims (11,945 were made in 2013/14 – an almost 70 per cent increase on five years previously).

Ministers anticipate there will be substantial pay-outs in future – more than half of current cases brought by claimants are successful.

A NHS Litigation Authority spokesman said the figure of more than £26billion was the projected future expenditure over an unspecified period of time.

“£10.5bn is for unresolved claims brought against trusts as well as claims resolved as periodic payment orders where, to meet ongoing care needs, the NHS LA makes regular payments for the rest of a claimant’s life.

“The remaining £15.6bn is also an estimate of the value of claims which may or may not be brought in the future.”

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association (PA), said: “It is alarming and of great concern that such vast sums of money are being put aside to pay for medical negligence claims.

“We know from the many calls to our national helpline that mistakes and incidents of negligence are sadly still plaguing the NHS.”

Sir David Nicholson, the former chief executive of NHS England, said he could not understand why the number of claims had increased so dramatically, but added that the rise had prompted a number of high-profile campaigns to improve patient safety.

At Royds, our personal injury team has a wealth of experience representing both claimants and defendants in respect of clinical negligence claims. For more information please visit our website or email James Millar Craig.

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