Inquiry into NHS Litigation Reform

Date published:

In September 2021, the UK Parliament’s Health and Social Care Select Committee (HSCSC) Committee launched a new inquiry to examine the case for the reform of NHS litigation.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) submitted written evidence to this inquiry focussing on the cost and impact of clinical negligence, developing a learning culture in the NHS, and improving claims resolution. NHS Resolution was a key contributor to this submission.

NHS Resolution was requested to appear in front of the Committee and provide oral evidence on two occasions.

Simon Hammond, NHS Resolution’s Director of Claims Management, appeared as a witness for the Committee on 11 January 2022. This session focused on examining how alternative compensation systems operate in Sweden, Virginia, New Zealand and Japan and how the litigation process in England could be improved using Dispute Resolution.

More recently, Helen Vernon participated in an oral evidence on 1 February 2022 appearing alongside Maria Caulfield MP, Minister for Patient Safety and Primary Care, and Matthew Style, Director General for NHS Policy and Performance at DHSC.

Building on the previous evidence session, this meeting focussed on international comparisons, learning from claims and the impact of the Early Notification Scheme alongside the patient and healthcare staff’s experience of litigation. The session also considered legal costs and reasons behind those costs as well as the recently published consultation on Fixed Recoverable Costs for Lower Value Clinical Negligence Claims.

Work to address the challenge of the rising cost of clinical negligence continues across government and NHS Resolution continues to support this work.