Existing Liabilities Scheme (DHSC)


The Existing Liabilities Scheme (ELS) covers clinical negligence claims made against the NHS in England where the incident in question took place before April 1995. It is not a membership scheme, as it is funded centrally by the Department of Health and Social Care. While initially NHS bodies were responsible for handling and funding lower-value ELS claims themselves, since April 2000 all ELS claims have been handled centrally by us.

Claims under the ELS will often be made against NHS bodies which no longer exist, because of subsequent restructuring within the NHS. The legal defendant in such an ELS claim will be the legal “successor body” to the now-defunct NHS body. In the case of incidents taking place in the early 1990s, the successor body may be an NHS trust if the hospital where the incident took place was part of one of the early NHS trusts.

When an NHS body is notified that a patient intends to make a claim relating to an incident before April 1995, it should follow the same reporting guidelines as for CNST claims. Notification to us should be made by reporting claims directly through the Claims Reporting wizard via the Extranet.

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