NHS: Negligence:Written question - HL280

Asked on: 13 January 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Negligence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the NHS has paid out, in total, for clinical negligence claims in each of the last ten years for which figures are available; what were the five main reasons for such claims; and what strategy the NHS has for reducing the number of such claims.
A
Answered by: Lord Bethell
Answered on: 27 January 2020

NHS Resolution handles clinical negligence claims on behalf of National Health Service organisations and independent sector providers of NHS care in England.

The amount the NHS has paid out, in total, for clinical negligence claims in each of the last 10 financial years for which figures are available is shown in the following table.

Financial Year

Total Paid £’000

2009/10

786,991

2010/11

863,398

2011/12

1,277,372

2012/13

1,258,881

2013/14

1,192,540

2014/15

1,169,587

2015/16

1,488,455

2016/17

1,707,167

2017/18

2,227,542

2018/19

2,359,866

The five main reasons for the above claims by frequency are:

- Failed / Delay to Treatment;

- Failed / Delay to Diagnosis;

- Intra-Operative Problems;

- Inappropriate Treatment; and

- Inadequate Nursing Care.

Our ambition is for the NHS to be the safest healthcare system in the world. We have thoroughly overhauled the infrastructure underpinning healthcare quality and safety in the last decade to minimise harm. The NHS Patient Safety Strategy: Safer culture, safer systems, safer patients, published in July 2019, and Safer Maternity Care: The NHS Maternity Safety Strategy – Progress and Next Steps, published in November 2017, set out the comprehensive approach to continuously improve safety. Copies of the strategies are attached.

The NHS Resolution five-year strategy Delivering fair resolution and learning from harm, published in 2017, describes how the organisation is contributing to improved safety and tackling clinical negligence costs. NHS Resolution is committed to learning from claims and is working directly with trusts to share learning and best practice across the NHS to drive safety improvement. This will help to minimise the potential of clinical errors that could lead to harm and possible future claims. A copy of the strategy is attached.

The Department is also working intensively with the Ministry of Justice, other Government Departments and NHS Resolution to tackle the continued year-on-year-rises in clinical negligence costs which are eating progressively into resources available for front-line care. While there are no simple solutions and the work is still ongoing, good progress has been made in developing our understanding of all the drivers of cost and exploring ways forward.

NHS Patient Safety Strategy (PDF Document, 1.05 MB)
Safer Maternity Care (PDF Document, 756.3 KB)
NHS Resolution Strategy (PDF Document, 9.62 MB)

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