The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) spent £1.4bn on medical negligence claims in 2015, up from £583m in 2008.

The NHSLA, which manages claims made against the NHS, said the increase was due to a rise in claims and a rise in legal fees.

However, solicitors who act on behalf of patients and their families say that spending could be reduced if the NHS improved the standard of care and did not delay claims.

Many patients say they would not have made a claim if the NHS had simply admitted fault and provided an apology.

“Denials are unhelpful and costly”

Neil Sugarman, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), said: “The cost to the NHS of its negligence should come as no surprise, in view of almost daily publicity about poor treatment and avoidable harm.”

He suggested that money could be saved if the NHS accepted responsibility for mistakes, as this would reduce “costly delays in settling claims.”

“It takes a lot of work to prove a claim against a Goliath organisation like the NHS, which holds all the cards and information about the incident, so delays and unnecessary denials are unhelpful and costly”, he added.

“The NHSLA is its own worst enemy for pushing up costs against itself by dragging out claims and defending cases needlessly, only then to settle at the door of the court.”

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If you would like to pursue a claim against the NHS for negligent medical care, please get in touch with us today.

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