Royds Withy King welcomes official investigation into NHS £56 billion budget for compensation claims
The National Audit Office (NAO) have announced their intention to scrutinise why the NHS allocated £56 billion last year to fight clinical negligence claims – almost half their annual budget and twice the amount that was allocated last year.
The NAO, responsible for helping the government to improve public services, will investigate the reasons behind the rising costs, the role the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) plays in managing these costs, and whether there has been a return on this investment.
This week the NAO will call on members of the Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers (SCIL) for their support. Commenting on the investigation, Paul Rumley, a medical negligence partner at Royds Withy King and member of the SCIL, said: “We welcome the news that there will be a thorough review of the actions of the NHSLA and why their spend on clinical negligence claims is increasing. It would be interesting to know what proportion of the costs of these cases can be attributed to the NHSLA’s own inefficiencies. We have had many cases of our own where we have reported to the NHSLA themselves where their actions have unnecessarily increased the costs on claims, sometimes by tens of thousands of pounds. It is to be hoped that the NAO asks to see those reports which the NHSLA holds.
“From our experience, there are many occasions when the NHSLA has dragged its heels in admitting liability, causing costs to escalate unnecessarily and heartache for the individuals and families involved.”
Paul added: “It is also worth remembering that in a £100 billion+ per annum taxpayer-funded NHS, there should be accountability for what we receive from that healthcare system, and so patient safety is a critical element in all of this. I look forward to seeing the findings from the NAO when they report back to Parliament next summer.”
Photo caption: Paul Rumley, medical negligence expert and partner at Royds Withy King
Keeping you informed about News news, events and opinion.