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Negligence: NHS

Volume 492: debated on Wednesday 20 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) in how many legally-aided clinical negligence claims cases the Legal Services Commission was unable to reclaim costs from the NHS Litigation Authority in the last 12 months; (276032)

(2) how many legally-aided clinical negligence claims in 2008 related to incidents in each of the previous 10 years;

(3) in how many clinical negligence claims the claimant received legal aid in the last year for which information is available.

The Legal Services Commission’s case management system, does not record defence organisations. A manual examination of all clinical negligence case files closed in the last 12 months might not identify the NHS Litigation Authority in every instance, and such an exercise could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost.

In 2007-08, 1,926 certificates were issued to take proceedings in clinical negligence cases and 65 per cent. resulted in a substantive benefit to the client with costs recovered. The remaining 2,714 cases were funded up to an investigation stage, without proceedings being issued.

The Legal Services Commission’s case management system does not record the date(s) on which an incident took place in clinical negligence cases. A manual examination of all case files closed in 2008 might not reveal the date(s) on which the incident took place in every instance, and such an examination could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost.

3,883 claims for clinical negligence received legal aid funding in the financial year 2008-09.