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Call for Evidence

NHS litigation reform: Terms of Referene

The Committee invites written submissions addressing any, or all, of the following points: 

  • What is the impact of the current cost of litigation on the financial sustainability of the NHS and the provision of patient care? 
  • What are the key changes the Government should consider as part of its review of clinical negligence litigation? In particular: 
    • What changes should be made to the way that compensation is awarded in clinical negligence claims in order to promote learning and avoid the same problem being repeated elsewhere in the system? 
    • How can clinical negligence processes be simplified so that patients can receive redress more quickly? 
    • How can collaboration between legal advisors be strengthened to encourage early and constructive engagement between parties?  
    • What role could an expanded Early Notification scheme play in improving transparency and efficiency system-wide?  
    • The Government has reiterated its intention to extend fixed recoverable costs, which limit the amount that can be paid out to meet legal costs, to clinical negligence cases with settlements of less than £25,000. At what level should these fixed recoverable costs be set, and are there any circumstances in which they should not apply to low value clinical negligence cases? 
  • To what extent does the adversarial nature of the current clinical negligence system create a “blame culture” which affects medical advice and decision making? 
  • How important is it that any clinical negligence system encourages lesson learning and commitment to change as the result of any action? 
  • What changes should be made to clinical negligence claims to enable a move away from a blame culture and towards a learning culture in the NHS? 
  • How can the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch work to improve short term responses to patient safety incidences and therefore reduce the number of those who are forced to pursue litigation as a means of obtaining non-financial remedies? 
  • What legislative changes would be required to support these changes? 

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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