NHS: Negligence

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd March 2018.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow Spokesperson (Education), Shadow Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

To ask Her Majesty's Government, in each of the past five years, what was the percentage of clinical negligence cases resolved after the issue of court proceedings (1) with damages paid, and (2) without damages paid; and in respect of each year, what were the legal costs paid in relation to those cases when damages were paid.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow Spokesperson (Education), Shadow Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

To ask Her Majesty's Government, in each of the past five years, what were the (1) number, and (2) percentage, of clinical negligence claims resolved with a payment of damages; and what were the legal costs paid (a) prior to the issue of court proceedings, and (b) following the issue of court proceedings, in each of those years.

Photo of Lord O'Shaughnessy Lord O'Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

NHS Resolution handles clinical negligence claims on behalf of National Health Service organisations and independent sector providers of NHS care in England.

NHS Resolution has provided the following information.

The percentage of litigated clinical claims closed 2012/13 to 2016/17 with and without damages paid as at the end of each respective closure year is shown in the following table.

Year of Closure

% with Damages Paid

% without Damages Paid

2012/13

74%

26%

2013/14

75%

25%

2014/15

75%

25%

2015/16

76%

24%

2016/17

76%

24%

Legal costs paid on litigated clinical claims closed 2012/13 to 2016/17 where damages were paid as at the end of each respective closure year are shown in the following table.

Year of Closure

Defence Costs Paid

Claimant Costs Paid

2012/13

£39,958,409

£142,111,666

2013/14

£42,141,514

£166,670,016

2014/15

£41,410,527

£179,193,141

2015/16

£45,500,109

£213,136,292

2016/17

£62,811,970

£280,120,077

The number and percentage of all clinical claims closed 2012/13 to 2016/17 in the cases where damages were paid as at the end of each respective closure year is shown in the following table.

Year of Closure

With Damages Paid

Number

%

2012/13

5,510

60%

2013/14

5,579

55%

2014/15

5,776

54%

2015/16

5,795

54%

2016/17

6,975

57%

The costs paid on clinical claims closed 2012/13 to 2016/17 in cases where damages were paid as at the end of each respective closure year are shown in the following table.

Year of Closure

Pre Litigated

Litigated

Defence Costs Paid

Claimant Costs Paid

Defence Costs Paid

Claimant Costs Paid

2012/13

£9,562,764

£63,510,321

£39,958,409

£142,111,666

2013/14

£9,408,578

£67,365,330

£42,141,514

£166,670,016

2014/15

£9,061,139

£70,358,696

£41,410,527

£179,193,141

2015/16

£8,697,218

£65,710,680

£45,500,109

£213,136,292

2016/17

£11,670,238

£74,449,903

£62,811,970

£280,120,077

Cases resolved following court proceedings include those where the issue of proceedings has been required in order to obtain court approval of the settlement, such as children or those who are under a legal disability such as a brain injury.

The figures provided do not include claims brought against general practitioners, who are covered by separate indemnity arrangements through medical defence organisations and for which data is not centrally available.

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