NHS: Negligence

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd October 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 steps he has taken to improve the quality of assessments of liability by the NHS in advance of the commencement of legal proceedings.

Photo of John Baron John Baron Conservative, Basildon and Billericay

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of assessments of liability by the NHS in advance of the commencement of legal proceedings in the last three years.

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay Minister of State (Department of 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.

The Department oversees the performance of NHS Resolution in relation to claims management through its sponsorship arrangements which include a Framework Document and quarterly accountability meetings with reporting against a range of Key Performance Indicators. In addition, the National Audit Office has conducted a Value for Money assessment of the costs of clinical negligence, including examining the role and activities of NHS Resolution in detail. No concerns have been raised to NHS Resolution in relation to its decision making through either process.

NHS Resolution has advised that 70% of cases were resolved in 2017/18 without court proceedings of which 39% resulted in no payment of damages. Less than 1% go to trial with most ending in judgment in favour of the NHS. All its cases are thoroughly reviewed and in the great majority of clinical negligence cases, NHS Resolution obtains independent expert evidence before reaching a decision on liability.

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