Friday, 17 October 2008

£30m bill for NHS negligence claims

Almost £30 million has been spent on settling NHS clinical negligence claims made in the last year.

Health Minister Ann Keen said more than £18 million had been paid out in damages, with a further £10 million on legal costs, to the end of September.

A total of £18,217,815 went on settling 2,262 cases - an average payout of just over £8,000.

But £7,878,866 was spent on claimants' legal costs, and £2,272,334 on defence legal costs.

And over half of the cases 4,593 formally claimed in 2007-08 have yet to be settled, with 2,331 outstanding.

In a written Commons answer to shadow health minister Mike Penning, Ms Keen said the claims were made against the NHS body providing the care.

The information was from the NHS Litigation Authority, she added, and did not include claims against self-employed contractors in primary care.