To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the financial implications for the NHS of the level of damages payments issued to resolve clinical negligence claims before legal proceedings; and if he will review the NHS policy of avoiding litigation.
The rising costs of clinical negligence are a major concern and something we are committed to tackling, given that National Health Service funds spent on clinical negligence are resources not available for front-line care. In 2018/19 total clinical negligence provision was £83 billion (Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts provision was £77.6 billion).
NHS Resolution has a responsibility to settle justified claims fairly and promptly and defend unjustified claims to secure NHS resources. Each case must be considered on its own merits and it is important that a proper investigation is undertaken. NHS Resolution aims to get to the right answer as quickly as possible in every case and to help resolve claims sooner, and without the need for court proceedings. To support this NHS Resolution launched a new mediation service in December 2016.