NHS: Negligence

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 30th January 2018.

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Photo of John Baron John Baron Conservative, Basildon and Billericay

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average hourly rate paid to lawyers instructed by the NHS in medical negligence claims is.

Photo of John Baron John Baron Conservative, Basildon and Billericay

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether lawyers instructed by the NHS to defend claims of medical negligence are paid the same hourly rate whether or not the claim succeeds, as denoted by court award or agreement to pay damages.

Photo of John Baron John Baron Conservative, Basildon and Billericay

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that lawyers instructed by the NHS to defend claims of medical negligence do not prolong proceedings to increase their fees.

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

NHS Resolution is responsible for managing clinical negligence claims against the National Health Service and it contracts with a panel of legal firms. NHS Resolution has supplied the following information on the rates paid under the panel contract.

Rates for instruction received before May 2017

Inner London hourly rate

Outer London hourly rate

Provincial hourly rate

Nominated Partner

£194

£173

£166

Other Partner, and/or solicitor 10 years of more Post-Qualified Experience (PQE)

£179

£164

£152

Solicitors 5 – 9 years PQE

£162

£148

£145

Solicitors Non-Qualified – 4 years PQE

£155

£144

£140

Legal executives, paralegals or trainee solicitors

£90

£83

£78

Rates for instruction received since May 2017

Inner London hourly rate

Outer London hourly rate

Provincial hourly rate

Nominated Partner

£200

£179

£172

Other Partner, and/or solicitor 10 years of more PQE

£185

£170

£157

Solicitors 5 – 9 years PQE

£167

£153

£150

Solicitors NQ – 4 years PQE

£160

£149

£145

Legal executives

£99

£92

£86

Paralegals or trainee solicitors

£93

£85

£80

A new panel contract was put in place in May 2017. Pre-May 2017 rates continue to apply where the instruction was received before May 2017 and the case is still active.

NHS Resolution has advised that Panel Lawyers are paid the same rate whether they win a case or not. Fixed/capped fees are applied on a number of cases in litigation to ensure cases are not prolonged.

Performance indicators including time to resolution and legal costs are monitored for all panel firms as part of the contract management arrangements. Defence costs are monitored very carefully on a monthly basis and immediate steps are taken with the relevant firm under the contractual agreement with them to ensure that costs do not escalate.

The Department oversees NHS Resolution’s performance through its sponsorship arrangements. This includes formal accountability reviews between senior departmental officials and the leadership of NHS Resolution.

General practitioners’ and dentists’ indemnity to cover clinical negligence payments is currently provided privately by Medical Defence Organisations. The Department does not have access to this information regarding primary care and dentistry.

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