Meningitis

Health written question – answered on 9th September 2013.

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Photo of Tony Cunningham Tony Cunningham Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what the cost to the public purse was of claims settled through the NHS Litigation Authority relating to (a) meningococcal meningitis and (b) meningitis B in the last 15 years;

(2) how many claims were made through the NHS Litigation Authority relating to (a) meningococcal meningitis and (b) meningitis B in the last 15 years.

Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

174 claims were made through the NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA) relating to both meningococcal meningitis and meningitis B between 1 April 1998 and 31 March 2013. It has not been possible to distinguish between the two, as they are not coded separately by the NHS LA. This number has been obtained by listing claims where ‘meningitis’ is mentioned in the data. Of the 174 claims, 140 have been settled, with the remaining 34 claims still ongoing.

The total cost to the public purse of claims settled through the NHS Litigation Authority relating to the 140 settled claims has been approximately £45.84 million to date.

126 of the claims were settled by way of a lump sum payment of damages, totalling £15.38 million.

14 of the more serious cases were settled by way of a periodic payments order i.e. where the patient will receive an annual payment (usually to purchase care) for the remainder of their life. The total cost paid to date for these claims are £30.46 million. The NHS LA has made provision in its accounts for a further £32.61 million for the future payments relating to these cases.

It should be noted that many clinical claims involve more than one ‘injury’ so it may not be the case that these costs relate solely to meningitis.

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