The cost of settling clinical negligence claims in 2020/2021 fell, according to an annual report published by NHS Resolution, the body that deals with clinical negligence claims on behalf of the NHS.
NHS Resolution paid out more than £2.2bn, a reduction of £120m from the 2019/2020 financial year, including damages, claimants' costs and the NHS's costs in dealing with clinical negligence claims.
The NHS has, therefore, reduced its provision for future claims from £84.1bn to £82.8bn, despite the number of claims and reported incidents rising from 11,678 in 2019/2020 to 12,629 in 2020/2021. The annual cost of clinical negligence claims remains broadly stable, at around £8bn.
NHS Resolution also reported that it resolved more claims without the need for Court proceedings, at 74.7%, up from 71.5% in the previous financial year. Just 0.3% of cases required trial to resolve, which is likely to be a direct result of lockdown restrictions affecting Court staff and the availability of Court facilities for trial, including judges. Mediation was thought to be more popular in agreeing settlements.
The reasons for the reduction in the cost of claims in 2020/2021 include the fact that the investigation and resolution of claims slowed during the Covid-19 pandemic, and claims inflation, the amount by which the cost of claims is expected to increase over time, was lower.
We can expect the number and cost of claims to increase in this and the next financial years, as a result of the additional delays in diagnosing and treating patients caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and more patients realising that they can make claims for personal injury and financial loss following sub-standard care.
Clinical negligence claims are frequently complex, and it is important that anyone considering such a claim seeks advice at the earliest opportunity. For more information on how to make a claim, click here.
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If you believe you have a claim for clinical negligence and wish to find out more or discuss your individual requirements in further detail, our Client Relations Team will be on hand to help, and can arrange an appointment with one of our specialist Clinical Negligence Claims team. Please contact our Client Relations Team on 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an enquiry' form on our website.
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