NHS “haemorrhaging money” on clinical negligence claims, defence bodies warn

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 28 July 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4188
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The NHS paid out £1.5bn (€1.8bn; $2bn) on clinical negligence claims in 2015-16, a rise of 27% from the previous year.

The figures, released by the NHS Litigation Authority, showed that the overall cost of settling claims rose by around £300m in 2015-16. This included an additional £176m in damage payments (a 23% rise from 2014-15) and an extra £126m in claimants’ legal costs (a 43% increase).1

The figures prompted calls for urgent legal reform from medical defence bodies amid warnings that the NHS was “haemorrhaging money” on claims.

The increased costs came despite the number of claims for clinical negligence falling slightly from 11 497 in 2014-15 to 10 965 last year.

The figures also showed that the estimated provisions for hospital clinical negligence claims almost doubled from £28.6bn in 2014-15 …

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