The DH has Introduced Fixed Recoverable Costs for Clinical Negligence Claims

The Department of Health made news headlines on 30 January this year after they published a paper. This paper introduced fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence claims. These changes will affect all clinical negligence claims valued between £1,000 and £25,000. The changes will apply to claims arising in the health service as well as in other private treatment centers.

The main objective of this is to prevent rising medical negligence compensation claim costs within the NHS. An estimated 80% of claims settled for damages against the NHS in 2015/16 fall within this range in the UK.

Legit Claims - Clinical Care

With the publication of this, the DH has also revealed that numerous examples exist of lawyers who profit from the NHS. They do this by charging up to 80 times more than times the amount awarded to the victims of minor clinical negligence claims.

Currently, no limitations exist which means that the money claimed by lawyers takes vital funds away from NHS trusts. It is expected the new cap will help the NHS save up to £45 million a year. Therefore, benefit the public in the long run.

Department of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

“Unfortunately, what we often see in lower cost claims is a deeply unfair system where unscrupulous law firms cream off excessive legal costs that dwarf the actual damages recovered. We believe this creates an adversarial culture of litigation, which is inflating insurance premiums and drawing away resources from the NHS at a crucial time”.

Legit Claims - Medical Negligence

Aims of the Fixed Cost Scheme

  • Promote the quick and cost-effective resolution of clinical negligence claims for all parties.
  • Improve clinical efficiency and achieve safer clinical practice in NHS.
  • Provide access to justice for claimants bringing complex medical negligence compensation claims of a low monetary value.
  • Streamline the system, root out unfair legal practices and incentive early resolution of medical negligence compensation

In conclusion, the paper puts forward drastic improvements to the system as well as the pocket of the individuals affected by medical negligence. With the promise of a streamlined litigation process, quicker and more cost-effective resolution can indeed be possible for all parties.

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