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Litigation quango to be reformed to cut the number of clinical negligence cases

Litigation quango to be reformed to cut the number of clinical negligence cases

Defence bodies have welcomed plans to overhaul the NHS Litigation Authority, aimed at reducing the number of clinical negligence cases.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that, from 1 April, the authority will be renamed NHS Resolution and will put more resources into proactive, earlier interventions to support families, while providing advice to help the NHS learn from mistakes.

It will shift its focus away from claim management to intervening in maternity related cases earlier, as well as spreading knowledge and developing new interventions to reduce mistakes in healthcare.

NHS Resolution will employ a specialist early intervention team with a focus on brain injuries at birth. The team will identify cases early and support families so cases could potentially be settled much quicker. 

It will also aim to resolve concerns and disputes quicker with more use of mediation and dispute resolution, to reduce the number of costly court cases.

The litigation authority handled more than 15,000 claims against the NHS in 2015-16. NHS Resolution will bring together the litigation authority's three operating arms: litigation management; the National Clinical Assessment Service, which tackles concerns about doctors practice; and the Family Health Services Appeal Unit, which handles disputes between primary care contractors and NHS England.

Helen Vernon, chief executive of the litigation authority, said: "Increased support to the NHS in delivering candour in practice and in sharing learning for improvement will be coupled with a fresh approach to resolution which reduces the need for costly and stressful court proceedings."

The authority has seen the costs of clinical negligence claims rise to £1.5bn a year and more than £56bn is set aside for the cost of compensation claims to the NHS.

Source: Hospital Dr

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