Managing the costs of clinical negligence in trusts

Clinical negligence claims against NHS hospitals cost a significant and rising amount each year. In 2015-16, the Department of Health’s clinical negligence provision totalled £56 billion, and its expenditure in this area was over £1.5 billion. The NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA) manages clinical negligence claims for all trusts in England. Its main scheme is the ‘clinical negligence scheme for trusts’, whereby trusts pay into a risk pool and receive indemnity cover. The NHS LA received 11,000 new clinical negligence claims in 2015-16.

This study will examine whether the Department of Health and the NHS LA understand what is causing the increase in clinical negligence costs, and evaluate their efforts to manage and reduce the costs associated with clinical negligence claims. We will also assess the NHS LA’s contribution to helping trusts to reduce the number of negligence claims they receive by sharing learning about past incidents and by encouraging wider forms of redress for affected patients.

If you would like to provide evidence for our study please email the study team on enquiries@nao.gsi.gov.uk, putting the study title in the subject line. The team will consider the evidence you provide; however, please note that due to the volume of information we receive we may not respond to you directly. If you need to raise a concern please use our contact form.