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Ministerial Corrections

Volume 522: debated on Tuesday 1 February 2011

Ministerial Correction

Tuesday 1 February 2011

Health

NHS: Negligence

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the NHS has paid to patients in ex-gratia payments to avoid ligation proceedings in each of the last three years.

[Official Report, 18 January 2011, Vol. 521, c. 732-33W.]

Letter of correction from Mr Simon Burns:

An error has been identified in the written answer given to the hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Mr Turner) on 18 January 2011. Unfortunately two of the figures in the table were incorrect.

The answer given was as follows: (33657)

HM Treasury consider ex-gratia payments to be a form of special payment. HM Treasury’s definition includes personal injury claims that are settled out of court. Information about local ex-gratia payments made by the national health service to patients to avoid litigation is not held centrally. Local NHS bodies record ‘losses and special payments’ in their consolidated accounts and these will include all ex-gratia payments, not just those paid to patients or to avoid litigation.

The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) records data held centrally specifically on ex-gratia payments made for clinical, employer and public liability claims settled out of court. As the NHSLA settles the vast majority of its claims this way, they fall under HM Treasury’s definition of ex-gratia. Data provided by the NHSLA will cover payments to patients, although some will be made to families/dependants, employees and visitors.

Data on actual payments made each year can be provided only at disproportionate cost. The NHSLA has therefore supplied data in the following table which shows the total amount of damages paid on claims settled out of court where the claim was closed between 2007-10. It should be noted that some actual payments for these claims may have been made in earlier years to when the claim was closed.

£

Clinical liability

Employer and public liability

Total amount paid

2007-08

225,023,267

22,257,496

247,280,762

2008-09

196,195,332

23,323,690

219,519,022

2009-10

230,996,377

20,312,554

466,799,784

The correct answer should have been:

HM Treasury consider ex-gratia payments to be a form of special payment. HM Treasury’s definition includes personal injury claims that are settled out of court. Information about local ex-gratia payments made by the national health service to patients to avoid litigation is not held centrally. Local NHS bodies record ‘losses and special payments’ in their consolidated accounts and these will include all ex-gratia payments, not just those paid to patients or to avoid litigation.

The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) records data held centrally specifically on ex-gratia payments made for clinical, employer and public liability claims settled out of court. As the NHSLA settles the vast majority of its claims this way, they fall under HM Treasury’s definition of ex-gratia. Data provided by the NHSLA will cover payments to patients, although some will be made to families/dependants, employees and visitors.

Data on actual payments made each year can be provided only at disproportionate cost. The NHSLA has therefore supplied data in the following table which shows the total amount of damages paid on claims settled out of court where the claim was closed between 2007-10. It should be noted that some actual payments for these claims may have been made in earlier years to when the claim was closed.

£

Clinical liability

Employer and public liability

Total amount paid

2007-08

225,023,267

22,257,496

247,280,763

2008-09

196,195,332

23,323,690

219,519,022

2009-10

230,996,377

20,312,554

251,308,931