The National Health Service Litigation Authority 2007 Report
The NHS Litigation Authority is a Special Health Authority, responsible for handling negligence claims made against NHS bodies. Their work has expanded to include schemes and risk management standards for non-clinical liabilities, the provision of an information service for the NHS on human rights case-law, dispute resolution between primary care practitioners and their local Primary Care Trusts, and advice and assistance to NHS bodies when handling equal pay litigation.
Their latest report was issued on the 30th July 2007. Key Notes include:-
1. The number of claims being reported to the NHS LA shows small decreases in clinical claims this year compared to last.
2. The number of cases outstanding at any year-end continues to fall.
3. 4% of cases that continue are dealt with at trial.
4. The 4% that go to court include cases where approval is necessary for infants and patients.
5. They report that 96% of the cases are resolved by negotiation round table meetings and mediation.
6. The average time from notification to claim settlement is 1.46 years.
7. Of the claims in the 10 years from April 1997 to March 2007 41% of the claims were abandoned by the claimant, 41% of the claims were settled out of court, 4% of the claims including approvals were settled in court and 14% remain outstanding. There are 4,650 inherited cases which they have assumed have settled out of court.
8. There have been 113 clinical negligence claims litigated in court over the 3 previous financial years with 67% settled in favour of the NHS, 29% settled in favour of the patient and 4% settled mid trial.
9. The small decrease in clinical matters reported is to the tune of 4.8% now at 5,280 claims per year. Claim payments however have gone up from £384,390m to £424,351m.
10. As a percentage of damages awarded defence legal costs represent 18.12%, claimants’ legal costs represent 32.33% on clinical negligence claims.
11. The Professional Advisory Panel chaired by Sir Alan Craft a known medical legal expert. Derek Tufnell remains on the Policy Advisory Group. There remain 12 clinical negligence panels solicitors firms.