New figures released by the NHS Litigation Authority show that the number of clinical negligence claims against the NHS has fallen by almost 5% in the past year.
The NHSLA is a not-for-profit part of the NHS. It manages negligence and other claims against the NHS in England on behalf of our member organisations.
The NHS Litigation Authority 2015/16 annual report shows that the authority received 10,965 new clinical negligence claims last year, compared with 11,497 in 2014/15.
The number of non-clinical claims also fell from 4,806 to 4,172 in 2014/15.
The figures will add to the ongoing debate about fixed recoverable fees being introduced for clinical negligence claims up to £250,000, which the government is currently working towards.
Campaigners supporting fixed fees have pointed to the increasing volume of claims against the NHS since the Jackson reforms restricted other types of personal injury claim in 2013. Those against fixed fees will suggest the latest figures show that the number is levelling out.
The NHSLA closed an identical number (16,459) of claims in 2015/16 as it did the previous year. Cases resolved without the payments of damages is the highest to date, with 4,935 claims not requiring any compensation in 2015/16. This figure was just 2,373 in 2008/09.
The authority said it has continued to cut costs in 2016, developing a larger in-house litigation team and instructing external solicitors at agreed hourly rates or fixed fees.
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