Following the publication of the National Audit Office study on Managing the Costs of Clinical Negligence in Trusts the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has recently published its report and recommendations. The report can be found here.

The annual cost of clinical negligence for Trusts has quadrupled over the last decade from £0.4 billion in 2006/7 to £1.6 billion in 2016/7, and the number of clinical negligence claims registered with NHS Resolution each year doubled, from 5,300 to 10,600.

The report concludes that the increasing financial pressure on Trusts has already started affecting standards of care, a cross-governmental approach is required, there is still a defensive culture within the NHS when things go wrong, and more information is needed about why people do (or do not) make claims.

A number of recommendations are made, including ensuring prioritisation of resources on patients that are most at risk, reviewing the adequacy of current legislation, continuing to focus on measures to reduce harm, and identifying and spreading best practice in handling harmful incidents and complaints.

The recommendations mirror many of those set out in the NAO report, and concern work already underway or planned by NHS Resolution as set out in its five year strategy: Delivering Fair Resolution and Learning from Harm