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NHS: Negligence

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 234133, tabled on 19 March 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if his Department will bring forward legislative proposals to reform the tort of negligence in medical malpractice to address the rising cost of clinical negligence claims.

Answered on

25 March 2019

In 2017 the National Audit Office (NAO) published a report which challenged the Government to publish a co-ordinated strategy to reduce clinical negligence costs.

The Ministry of Justice is working jointly with the Department of Health and Social Care, the Treasury, Cabinet Office, NHS Resolution and others, to respond to the challenge from NAO in the report Managing the Costs of Clinical Negligence in Trusts to publish a co-ordinated strategy to reduce clinical negligence costs. We are looking at all the drivers of costs, as challenged by NAO, and a wide range of options are being considered. We will update the House when we are in a position to do so.

The Civil Justice Council (CJC) is expected to report shortly on proposals to extend fixed recoverable costs (FRC) in clinical negligence cases up to £25k damages. The Government will consult before implementing any extension of FRC following the CJC report.