There are multiple drivers of the costs of negligence. These include the level of activity undertaken, the type and amount of harm caused, how incidents are handled and the legal environment and framework by which compensation is determined. We have a unique insight into these drivers. There are some we can control, such as how claims are handled. There are some where we can work with others to deliver improvement, such as the response to an incident. Finally, there are some where we can inform solutions but cannot deliver change, such as legal reform.
Both the healthcare and legal systems are undergoing rapid change. The ambition of the NHS Five Year Forward View for the integration of health and social care provision means that new organisational structures will emerge. Consultations on costs reform and the small claims limit will influence future trends in claims volumes and values.
The impact of the historic volume and value of clinical negligence claims, together with a growing Periodical Payment Order (PPO) liability, means an increasing financial pressure on trusts. This will sharpen the focus on what can be done to contain the position and there will be a growing appetite for data analytics to support this effort.
In the meantime, improved technology will open up opportunities to undertake analysis in ways which have not proved possible before. Sharing of data across the healthcare system, within legal constraints, in order to learn and improve safety will need to increase.