Cost of claims to the NHS

The figures for the cost of medical negligence claims against the NHS of £22.7 bn quoted in a recent article by the Telegraph and Daily Mail is no doubt intended to appeal to the papers’ readers. It appears yet another attempt by the media to inference government into extending the fixed fee regime to cover medical negligence claims.

This figure has to be wrong if one compares it with the annual cost of claims against the NHS of £964m in 2010/11, £1095bn in 2011/12 and £1.12bn in 2012/13.  To be put in context, these sums compare with the annual NHS budget of £104bn in 2010/11 and represent 0.7% of total NHS spending.

Peregrine Lavington, head of medical negligence says ‘I can only assume  that the figure of £22.7bn is the sum total of all claims against the NHS made and budgeted. If correct, the comparison against the annual budget is misleading and needs to be corrected’.


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