NHS: Negligence

Health written question – answered on 24th January 2008.

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Photo of Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to paragraph 21, page 67 of his Department's resource accounts for 2006-07, for what reason provision for clinical negligence was increased during 2006-07.

Photo of Ann Keen Ann Keen Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Health Services), Department of Health

The reporting of clinical negligence provisions referred to in paragraph 21 are essentially data reported from the activities of the NHS Litigation Authority. There are several reasons for the increases in value of clinical negligence provisions in any given financial period and during 2006-07 the main ones were:

the value of new claims reported to the authority where the negligent treatment had been delivered in the same financial period, ie where a patient has brought a claim for negligence in the same financial year that they allege negligent treatment. (Claims reported in 2006-07 where the negligent treatment was in an earlier financial year would already have been provided for in the accounts of the authority as incurred but not reported (IBNR)); where the value of existing claims has required alteration due to improved or further knowledge regarding the individual claim, eg where the courts have established new values for specific heads of damage or where original valuations excluded damage which is subsequently agreed to be relevant through the litigation process; and actuarial review of IBNR suggests that forecast values of claims to be reported in the future require amendment, for example because claim reporting patterns appear to suggest more claims than originally forecast are being reported for a particular financial period or periods.

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