When taxpayer money is spent on medical negligence claims, where does the money go?

16th May 2013

So what sort of costs do medical negligence claims generate at the moment, and how can public funds be better managed?

The National Patient Safety Agency, an arm of the Department of Health, reported 612,414 patient safety incidents in England between 1st October 2011 and 31st March 2012. To put this into context, 32% of those reported resulted in harm ranging from low to severe, including death. These figures alone clearly highlight the need for medical negligence litigation.

While legitimate claims of medical negligence should be pursued, the issue currently lies around the culture of cover-ups within the NHS that is stalling legal proceedings. The time it takes for the service to conduct its own investigations into a claim against an institution or individual is lengthened by evidenced failure from staff and management to report incidents. This is also made worse by a general reluctance to admit fault, which is hindering legal processes further.

The result of this is that fewer claims are being resolved at an early stage or in a timely and efficient manner. In this way, taxpayer funding is not being spent as effectively as it could be. This issue of efficiency would be significantly helped by greater transparency and openness from the NHS when things do go wrong. This would save time-consuming investigations of fact, therefore reducing the ultimate legal bill faced by the taxpayer.

Calls for a Duty of Candour go some way to addressing this as, if policed correctly, this will implicate hospitals in the reporting process. If a culture of transparency is encouraged, and standards of care improved, the time taken to assess each claim should be reduced, along with the number of claims filed.

Plans to install a chief inspector of hospitals and introduce a ratings scheme for hospitals will assist, but solicitors are also integral to increasing accountability. Freeing up public funding for other areas of health like care instead of funnelling these to litigation is in the public interest.

Categories

Archives

Further Reading…

Should GPs have NHS indemnity?

24th July 2017

Christian Beadell a senior solicitor in the medical negligence department considers the difficult issue of rising GP indemnity costs.

Declining recruitment and increasing waiting times

9th October 2017

Recent news has seen reports of slower-than-average recruitment of NHS nurses and Trusts failing to meet national A&E waiting time targets, leaving the potential risk of failings in patient care.

Take the first step now, you have nothing to lose

Highly rated on 4.0/5.0

  • Top Ranked Leading Individual - Chambers UK 2016
  • The Sunday Times Top 100 - Best Companies To Work For 2016
  • The Lawyer UK200 - Listed Firm 2015
  • The Law Society - Clinical Negligence
  • The Legal 500 - Leading Firm 2015
  • The Investors In People Awards 2016 - Winner
  • Lexcel - Excellence in Legal Practice Management and Client Care
  • IIP - Investors in People
  • sia - Spinal Injuries Association
  • MASS - Motor Accident Solicitors Society
  • Apil - Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Headway - The Brain Injury Association
  • avma - Action Against Medical Accidents
  • Backup Trust - Transforming Lives After Spinal Cord Injury
  • Child Brain Injury Trust
  • Cyber Essentials
Any Questions?

We know that making a claim can raise a few questions, here are some of the ones we get asked most often.

Read our FAQs

Contact Details
Phone
03300 080 321
Email
enquiry@fs.co.uk
Southport
Dukes House, 34 Hoghton Street, Southport, PR9 0PU
Manchester
St James's Tower, 7 Charlotte Street, Manchester, M1 4DZ
Map of the UK