Instead of a system of delays and refusals that frustrate grieving families and terrorize doctors while lawyers try to blame someone personally, the committee proposes a system closer to that used in New Zealand and Scandinavia. An independent administrative body would investigate a patient`s case to determine whether the harm caused was preventable and, if so, to promptly determine fair compensation within six months. The priority would be openness and learning from mistakes to protect future patients. Not having to find fault makes it easier for patients to get compensation, but the payment would be much lower. Some warn that this reduction in the burden of proof would encourage a flood of claims, but New Zealand found that a similar system halved the amounts paid. There would still be remedies, but the courts would apply the same compensation tables. Countries that apply a similar system find few cases that end up in court. The committee heard from parents who had dragged themselves through years of litigation, only to acknowledge that a mistake had been made. One mother said, “The sad truth is that I received compensation.

All my legal fees were paid, but I felt devastated. A quick fix with a hospital open to everything that happened would have saved him years of torment. The National Audit Office (NOA) has found that the cost of clinical negligence claims has increased in recent years, primarily due to the increase in legal fees associated with claims. If claims are made, their merits should be assessed immediately and realistic settlement offers should be made at an early stage before legal costs accumulate. Too often I have seen the NHS defend weak cases, only to settle just before trial when legal fees are high. The NHS is facing £4.3 billion in legal fees as part of an £83 billion compensation bill for clinical negligence claims. In recent years, the total cost of clinical negligence claims has increased significantly, and the National Audit Office (NAO) has identified the attorneys` fees of claimants as an important factor. Currently, there is no limit to legal fees, regardless of the amount required. On average, legal fees are about twice as high as the compensation patients receive for lower-value claims.

One reason for this is that there is currently no limit to the legal fees that can be claimed by lawyers. This means that, on average, these costs are twice as high as the compensation patients receive for lower-value claims. In one case, lawyers demanded £72,000 in legal fees for a case where the patient received £3,000. “The NHS faces huge legal costs for clinical negligence,” headlines this week. According to the BBC, the NHS receives 10,000 new claims each year. The total cost of outstanding claims is estimated at £83 billion. In contrast, the total budget for NHS England in 2018-19 was £129 billion. The government has proposed a cap that prevents legal fees from exceeding a certain level in cases of clinical negligence of lesser value.

These plaintiffs` legal fees are currently on average more than 4 times higher than the defendant`s legal fees for claims of lesser value. Health chiefs have estimated the cost of possible future claims and set aside the largest sum in “damage care.” The share of this figure for legal fees was revealed by a BBC Freedom of Information request. Notes to editors: • Payments for all our clinical programmes for 2021/22 totalled £2,402.8 million (£2,209.3 million in 2020/21), including £1,775.3 million (£1,609.8 million in 2020/21), claimant legal fees of £470.9 million (£448.1 million in 2020/21) and NHS legal fees of £156.6 million (£151.4 million) £ million in 2020/21). The increase in NHS legal fees is partly due to increased spending on general medical compensation schemes, mainly the existing General Practice Liability Scheme (ELSGP). • Payments for claims under the Clinical Neglect Scheme for Trusts (CNST) increased by £152.8m (7%) to £2,213.9 million compared to 2020/21. This increase is mainly related to damages and costs of plaintiffs against high-value claims (over £3.5 million). • Negligence claims account for a very small proportion of the number of incidents and complaints reported to the NHS and the millions of episodes of individual care that the NHS carries out each year. Many factors influence why individuals take legal action against the NHS, including factors in the legal market.

There is also a significant lag between an incident and a claim – an average of 3.1 years. It can also take several years to settle a claim, especially high-value claims that suffered brain damage at birth, and payments for these claims can be made many years in the future. Overall, this means that what NHS Resolution is currently receiving in terms of complaints is only a very partial indicator of patient safety in the NHS in recent years, and also of what we can expect in the future to resolve these claims. • All systems are operated on a pay-as-you-go basis, and so we only collect members or receive funds from the Department of Health and Social Services for what we charge we will pay for claims on an annual basis. We do not “collect” or “deposit” billions of pounds in anticipation of future spending on our programmes. This is to ensure that no money is diverted from the provision of services and to help spread the burden of costs into the future as soon as they need to be paid. • The “provision” is the best estimate of the expenses necessary to settle this obligation at the balance sheet date or to transfer it to a third party (for declared and prospective receivables, known as “committed but unreported receivables”). The figure is updated annually and is an informed estimate that depends on assumptions about future developments and is therefore within a range of possible outcomes. When reviewing the provision, it should be noted that when a value is assigned to a future periodic payment order, it will change according to the changing needs and lifespan of the applicant concerned.

• This year, the “annual damage costs” amount to £13.3 billion of claims arising from the CNST regime. The increase would have been £8.7 billion, which is comparable to previous years if the change in the UK Treasury discount rate had not been applied. This is the value of the increase in the provision for all of our claims compensation plans for claims liabilities arising from activities that occurred during the reporting year, including payments in respect of those claims. Effective partnership in maternity, general practice, and health and justice systems is described in our annual report as a highlight of the year and is critical to our strategy to resolve cases fairly and learn from harms. The evolving perspective of mediation in the clinical negligence market is a welcome signal for an increasingly collaborative approach for the benefit of patients and healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, we see some law firms benefiting from legal fees at the expense of the NHS that far exceed the actual compensation paid to patients. This diverts resources away from the NHS front as staff work hard to deal with the COVID-19 backlog. The plans would only affect the legal fees plaintiffs and their lawyers can claim after a successful lawsuit, not the amount of compensation patients would receive. The government is launching a consultation to address disproportionate legal fees for low-value claims for clinical negligence.

Damages paid by the NHS due to claims for medical negligence have increased exponentially over the past decade, from £900 million to £2.2 billion.