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NHS spend £2.36billion on medical negligence

NHS spend £2.36billion on medical negligence

NHS Resolution’s (NHSR) annual report shows that for 2018/19 the NHS spent £2.36 billion on medical negligence.

There has been an increase of 13.5% on compensation payments to injured patients.

Legal costs decrease

However, according to the report there has been a £24 million decrease in NHS spending on claimant legal costs.

NHSR chief exec Helen Vernon explains that the organisation has had a ‘cultural change’ in the way it handles medical negligence claims.

The number of mediations has increased by 110%.

Vernon also comments that they have increased activity in early investigations with claims. This has seen the defence legal costs bill increase by 8.3%.

On the cultural change, she says, “The number of cases going into formal litigation has remained stubbornly more or less the same for well over a decade. We’ve been on a mission to change that.

We set ourselves a challenge to disrupt the traditional approach taken to clinical negligence claims, to encourage mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.”

Melanie Lidstone-Land, specialist medical negligence lawyer at Swain & Co Solicitors comments,

“It is encouraging that the NHS wishes to change its approach to medical negligence claims. Historically the NHS has robustly defended claims, settling late in the day and this prevents injured patients from getting the answers they so desperately need in a timely fashion.  If this is going to change, then I can see that claimant legal costs could dramatically decrease for the NHS.”

Melanie continues,

“In client care, I listen to how medical negligence affects the patient on so many levels. Sometimes they just do not know or understand what happened and no one in the medical profession will talk honestly and openly to them. They come to me seeking answers. I endeavour to get them. Mediation is a welcomed advancement in this process. However, a patient’s right to answers and redress must be maintained.”

This NHSR report comes at the time that the government is preparing to fix legal costs for medical negligence claims under £25,000.

We trust the medical professionals to take care of us. But, sometimes that doesn’t happen.

When you can’t get the answers you need or you have suffered following a medical mistake, speak to Melanie with no obligation.

Call her on 02392 483322


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