Dispute resolution


The first of our strategic priorities is to deliver fair resolution. NHS Resolution has always focused on keeping matters out of formal processes, where possible. Already less than 1% of the cases we handle go to trial. We continually look for ways to improve and our aim is to only litigate by choice and when it is the most appropriate way to achieve a resolution.

To keep claims out of formal processes, we increasingly use a variety of dispute resolution methods, often collaborating with solicitors representing claimants.

Some of the resolution methods used are explained below.


Our claims mediation service has been designed to support patients, families and NHS staff in working together towards the resolution of incidents, complaints, legal claims and costs disputes – avoiding the unnecessary expense, time, stress and potential emotional distress of going to court. The service provides access to an independent and accredited mediator, selected from a panel drawn from a wide range of backgrounds.

Our partners for the claims mediation service are:

  • The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) and Trust Mediation Limited, appointed to mediate disputes arising from personal injury and clinical negligence incidents and claims.
  • Costs Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADR) and St. John’s Buildings Limited, appointed to mediate disputes arising from the recoverability of legal costs.

More details for our providers can be found here.

Resolution Meetings

At these meetings the parties gather to discuss, share and agree solutions to progress a claim. These meetings are also convened to discuss a number of claims simultaneously, to save time and resources

Stock Take Process

‘Stock-take’ meetings involve formal meetings with claimant lawyers at fixed stages during a claim in a collaborative approach aimed at reaching early resolution and reducing costs

Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE)

ENE is where an independent evaluator, having considered evidence from all parties, makes a non-binding decision on how they believe a court would rule on the case.  This method is under development at the moment.

Having a wide range of dispute resolution initiatives ensures we use the resolution method in the right cases at the right time. If you want to know more about dispute resolution methods used by NHS Resolution, please speak to the Operational Team Leader that works with your Trust.

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