NHS: Negligence

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 27th March 2019.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with the Ministry of Justice and Civil Justice Council on reforming the tort of negligence in medical malpractice to address the rising cost of clinical negligence claims on NHS Resolution.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

In 2017 the National Audit Office (NAO) published a report which challenged the Government to publish a co-ordinated strategy to reduce clinical negligence costs.

The Department of Health and Social Care is working jointly with the Ministry of Justice, the Treasury, Cabinet Office, NHS Resolution and others, to respond to the challenge from the NAO in their ‘Managing the Costs of Clinical Negligence in Trusts’ report to publish a co-ordinated strategy to reduce clinical negligence costs. We are looking at all the drivers of costs, as challenged by the NAO, and a wide range of options are being considered. We will update the House when we are in a position to do so.

The Civil Justice Council (CJC) is expected to report shortly on proposals to extend fixed recoverable costs (FRC) in clinical negligence cases up to £25,000 damages. The Government will consult before implementing any extension of FRC following the CJC report.

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