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NHS – Highest Litigation Claim Ever [2011-12]

The NHS paid out £1.2 billion in litigation claims between 2011 and 2012 – the highest amount ever. It represents a huge jump on the year before when the health service’s clinical negligence compensation bill totalled £863 million in legal costs and compensation payouts. Tom Fothergill, director of finance at the NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA), confirmed that the 2011 to 2012 financial year witnessed a severe rise in the number of claims by patients and their families. He said: “We were able to close more claims than ever before, but the combined effect of sharply increased claims in recent years and a continuation of the growth in new claims received this year still resulted in there being more than 5% more claims open at the end of the year.” NHS LA annual accounts show the bill for “non-clinical claims” was £52.4 million. This includes claims from patients, staff or visitors who fall and hurt themselves on wet floors where there was no sign. In 2009 to 2010, there were 10,726 individual claims, but this jumped to 13,001 the following year. Between 2011 and 2012 this figure leapt to 13,761, meaning the potential for further compensation payouts next year.