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NHS: Negligence

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 9th January 2020.

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Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt Conservative, South West Surrey

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many law suits worth more than £1 million (a) his Department and (b) the NHS settled in relation to babies disabled for life by medical error in the last 12 months.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are determined to reduce the number of cases where babies are harmed, often permanently, by medical error. Our National Maternity Safety Ambition, launched in November 2015 and updated in November 2017, is to halve the rates of maternal and neonatal deaths, stillbirths, and brain injuries that occur during or soon after birth by 2025. Details can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safer-maternity-care-progress-and-next-steps

NHS Resolution handles clinical negligence claims on behalf of National Health Service organisations and independent sector providers of NHS care in England. NHS Resolution is also responsible for handling the clinical liabilities of former NHS bodies, where the defendant is the Secretary of State.

In the financial year 2018/19 the number of legal cases settled worth more than £1 million in relation to babies disabled for life by medical error were:

- Department of Health and Social Care legacy schemes – five; and

- Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts covering the NHS - 105.

It should be noted that this covers the period for the financial year 2018/19, rather than for the last 12 months, as the numbers for cases since April 2019 have not yet been audited.

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