Clinical Negligence

Health written question – answered on 6th November 2001.

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Photo of Frank Dobson Frank Dobson Labour, Holborn and St Pancras

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) how many claims for clinical negligence against the NHS which went to trial were successful; and of these how many were (a) legal aid cases and (b) pursued on a no win, no fee basis, for the latest year for which figures are available;

(2) how many claims for clinical negligence against the NHS went to trial; and of these how many were (a) legal aid cases and (b) pursued on a no win, no fee basis for the latest year for which figures are available;

(3) how many claims for clinical negligence were (a) made against the NHS and (b) settled out of court; of these how many were (i) legal aid cases and (ii) pursued on a no win, no fee basis; how many went to trial; and of these how many were legal aid cases in the latest year for which figures are available.

Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

holding answer 5 November 2001

Comprehensive data on the total number of clinical negligence claims are not collected centrally.

However, the national health service litigation authority handles clinical negligence claims made against the NHS under two risk pooling schemes, but only those at above certain values. Of the claims held by the NHS litigation authority on its database, there were 4,570 reported to the relevant NHS body in the year 2000–01.

The NHS litigation authority's database does not show whether cases are settled out of court or go to trial. However, the NHSLA estimates that approximately 95 per cent. of cases which they settle are done out of court. It is also not possible to distinguish from NHSLA data whether a case is funded by legal aid or under a conditional fee arrangement (no win, no fee). However, the NHSLA estimate that approximately 95 per cent. of all cases are legally aided, while the number being pursued under a conditional fee arrangement is limited to around a dozen.

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