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NHS: Negligence

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL10962, tabled on 23 October 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the cost to the NHS of clinical negligence claims in (1) 2016, and (2) 2017; and what plans they have to reduce such costs in the future.

Answered on

5 November 2018

The total Government spend on clinical negligence was £1.7 billion in the financial year 2016-17 and £2.2 billion in the financial year 2017-18.

The rising costs of clinical negligence is a serious concern which the Government is committed to tackling, given that National Health Service resources used on clinical negligence are not available for front-line care. Building on the National Audit Office report Managing the costs of clinical negligence in trusts, published in September 2017, we have been working intensively across Government and expect to set out more detail on the way forward in due course. A copy of the report is attached.

Following a recommendation by Right Honourable Lord Justice Jackson in Review of Civil Litigation Costs: Supplemental Report – Fixed Recoverable Costs, the Department and the Civil Justice Council (CJC) set up a working party to develop a new process for clinical negligence initially up to £25,000 alongside new fixed costs. This working party is underway and the CJC is due to make recommendations to the Government in December. A copy of the report is attached.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care