98% of NHS Safety Incidents never result in a claim

Detailed statistical analysis conducted by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) dispels the myth that the NHS is drowning in a sea of litigation. 

Just 2% of safety incidents involving patient harm resulted in a clinical negligence claim against the NHS, according to APIL’s analysis of NHS Resolution’s (NHSR) annual accounts. 

It is reported that the analysis found that clinical negligence claims currently represent 1.6% of NHS England’s annual budget.  However, there is potential for this to rise to as much as 18.5% if the ‘administrative’ scheme for claims, proposed by the Health and Social Care Committee, is introduced – an unnecessary and prohibitive financial burden. 

Last year saw a small increase in claimant legal costs for clinical negligence claims. 

Analysis suggests this is likely related to (1) an increase in the number of claims settled by NHSR, (2) more complex claims with considerably higher damages settling, and (3) a recent expansion to NHSR’s remit – it is now responsible for GP claims as well as hospital claims. 

Despite these factors, claimant legal costs remain 5.3% below pre Covid pandemic levels.

Also apparent from the analysis is confirmation that there is no surge in claims because of Covid 19, with the number of new claims reported under NHSR’s main scheme for clinical claims down by 8.2% since 2019/20.