It has been reported that the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) is set to increase the premiums for its Clinical Negligence Scheme for trusts next year in the face of rising legal costs and compensation payouts. Further details on the scale of the increase are likely to be announced in November.
Figures from the NHSLA annual report show that the fees recovered by claimant lawyers have risen by 122 per cent in four years, and have reached £90 million. The NHSLA’s own legal bill has also increased during the same period by 48 per cent to £43.3 million. It is estimated that £660 million was paid out in damages last year.
The need to increase premiums has been blamed on the increased use by claimant lawyers of ”no win, no fee” arrangements, which are now the funding method in a third of all cases in which compensation is paid. Under a no win, no fee arrangement, the solicitor, if successful, can charge a maximum uplift of 100 per cent of their usual hourly rate.
The NHSLA annual report can be viewed here.