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Medical Negligence claims and the NHS

Clinical Negligence News : 23 February 2015

The number of claim rose almost 18% since March 2013. Figures from the Litigation Authority revealed that 11,945 lawsuits were filed between 2013-14, compared with 6,562 in 2009-10.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has recently announced financial sanctions for hospitals that fail to be honest about potential clinical mistakes. If hospitals cannot prove they were open and honest about a mistake that leads to a negligence claim then they could be asked to refund the authority up to £10,000 per case. The new regulations will come into effect from April and there are plans to introduce jail sentences for anyone who provides false information.

Mr Hunt said ‘’Being open and learning from mistakes is crucial in improving patient care. The NHS is a world class health service, but when mistakes happen it is vital that we face them head on and learn so they are never repeated.  This sends a strong message that covering up mistakes will not be tolerated’’

In an interview with the Financial Times former Lloyds of London insurance executive, Michael Wade, warned that the cost of the NHS compensation is unsustainable and is currently investigating the potential of public insurance schemes on the Governments behalf.