NHS: Negligence

Health written question – answered on 2nd July 2012.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost was of NHS litigation in each of the last five years.

Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Department does not hold this information centrally, as each national health service body is responsible for handling its own litigation except where they have support from the statutory NHS indemnity schemes, which are administered by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health. The following information is available from the NHSLA annual report and accounts:

Payments made by the NHSLA by year and by type of liability
£ million
  Payments by type of claim  
  Clinical Non-clinical Total payments
2007-08 633.4 25 658.4
2008-09 769.3 34 803.3
2009-10 787.2 34 821.2
2010-11 863.4 42.4 905.8
2011-12 1,277.3 48.1 1,325.4
Source: NHS Litigation Authority

These data do not represent all litigation against the NHS. The schemes provide cover to members, primarily NHS trusts, NHS foundation trusts and primary care trusts. They do not generally cover independent, contractors (eg general practitioners in primary care). In addition, the schemes only deal with certain types of litigation, covering clinical liabilities (clinical negligence) and non-clinical liabilities (mainly employers', public, products, directors' and officers', personal accident and professional indemnity liabilities). The non-clinical schemes also operate 'excess' levels, with claims below excess funded by individual members. Data therefore only represents expenditure by the NHSLA.

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