The NHS Litigation Authority, known as NHS Resolution from 1 April 2017, is accountable to the Department and its performance is subject to regular review through the Department’s sponsorship arrangements. The Department’s assessment is that NHS Resolution is a well-run and efficient organisation and that it has had some success, within the current legal framework, in containing the cost of National Health Service litigation, a view that was supported by the National Audit Office (NAO), in its report Managing the costs of clinical negligence in trusts published in September 2017. A copy of the report is attached.
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, NHS Resolution launched a new mediation service in December 2016. The NAO report on clinical negligence costs concluded that it is difficult to benchmark an optimal time for resolution and the Department is satisfied, that overall, NHS Resolution strikes the right balance in settling claims in a timely manner.
In recognition that the organisation’s effectiveness in reducing NHS litigation costs could be improved by expanding its remit and giving it a greater role in promoting learning from harmful incidents, the Secretary of State announced earlier this year that the NHS Litigation Authority would be known as NHS Resolution from 1 April 2017 with a new five year strategy Delivering fair resolution and learning from harm: Our strategy to 2022 which gives it an enhanced focus on mediation, learning and prevention, as well as litigation. A copy of the five year strategy is attached.
NHS Resolution already works with NHS organisations, with the use of the claims scorecards, to help them understand their claims data to better assess where local interventions would have the greatest impact in reducing high volume or high costs claims. It also shares learning and best practice across the NHS through the development of guidance including cases studies derived from analysis of the national database of claims, thematic guidance and national events. Through its new strategy, it will deliver increased insight into what drives the costs of harm and work in partnership with others to develop interventions that improve safety and save money for the NHS, as demonstrated by its report Five years of cerebral palsy claims: A thematic review of NHS Resolution data published in September. A copy of the report has been placed in the Library due to the size of the document.