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Cost of Clinical Negligence in Trusts inquiry


Clinical negligence is the breach of a legal duty of care to a patient by members of the healthcare profession. Where this has taken place, a patient or their representative can claim damages and the NHS is liable for any claim against its employees.

The cost to the NHS of clinical negligence claims was £1.6billion in 2016–17. This is quadruple the figure for 2006–07, according to figures from the National Audit Office (NAO). In the same time frame, legal costs for these claims have risen from £77million to £487million.

Since 1995 NHS Resolution has provided indemnity cover for NHS trusts in England through its Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts. All 234 NHS England costs pay NHS Resolution an annual contribution towards this coverage.

According to the NAO, the cost of claims handled by NHS Resolution's Clinical Negligence in Trusts Scheme is increasing faster than year-on-year increases in NHS funding, and is therefore impacting on how much NHS trusts can spend on care.

The Public Accounts Committee will ask how the Department of Health, NHS Resolution and the Ministry of Justice are exploring the impact of rising costs and working together to tackle them while providing a quick and efficient service for claimants.

Reports, special reports and government responses

View all reports and responses
5th Report - Managing the costs of clinical negligence in hospital trusts
Inquiry Cost of Clinical Negligence in Trusts inquiry
HC 397
Response to this report
Correspondence from Sir Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Care, re the Treasury minute progress report for TM5 - Managing the Costs of Clinic, dated 11 May 2023
Correspondence with Personal Injury Claims Arbitration Service Ltd.
Inquiry Cost of Clinical Negligence in Trusts inquiry

Oral evidence transcripts

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16 October 2017
Inquiry Cost of Clinical Negligence in Trusts inquiry
Witnesses Sir Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary, Department of Health, Helen Vernon, Chief Executive, NHS Resolution, Richard Heaton, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, and Dr Kathy McLean, Executive Medical Director, NHS Improvement
Oral Evidence
Irwin Mitchell (CNT0004)
Medical Defence Union (CNT0001)
Moore Blatch LLP (CNT0002)

Contact us

  • Email:
  • Phone: 020 7219 5776 (general enquiries) | 020 7219 8480 (media enquiries)
  • Address: Public Accounts Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA