Advising with empathy and experience

NHSLA claims and payments.

The number of negligence claims made against the NHS rose in the year 2013-14, according to latest claims factsheet issued by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA).

According to NHS LA, which handles negligence claims for NHS organisations and independent sector providers of NHS care, a total of 11, 945 claims were received in 2013-14 under its clinical negligence schemes and 4,802 claims were made in respect of its non-clinical schemes.

In both cases the total claims include potential ones, where a formal letter has not been received but where a patient has indicated their intention to pursue a claim.

The figures show a rise on 2012-13 where the numbers were 10,129 and 4,632 respectively.

The factsheet says: “The NHS LA had 28,029 ‘live’ claims at March 31 2014 and Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) claims are now settled in an average of 1.26 years from the date of notification to the NHS LA to when compensation is agreed, or the claimant discontinues their claim.”

The highest number of claims as at March 31 2014 was 37,528 relating to surgery with obstetrics and gynaecology second with a total of 18, 132 claims and medicine listed third with 17,479 claims.

In terms of value, as at March 31 2014, claims for obstetrics and gynaecology are highest totalling £7.9m, with surgery next at £3.7m and medicine listed third at £2.6m.

Other smaller claims totals relate to accident and emergency (£1.3m), anaesthesia (£315,692) and psychiatry and mental health (£270,981).

Kim Daniells of the CNCI team, commenting on the figures, said "the significant value of the claims from obstetrics and gynaecology reflect the costs associated with providing long term care for babies who suffer profound damage at birth. The cost of dealing with claims is clearly substantial. It must be remembered that every settlement reflects a failing in care and a patient who has suffered damage as a result".