NHS Litigation Authority

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The NHS Litigation Authority is a special health authority of the English National Health Service (NHS).

It is responsible for handling negligence claims made against NHS bodies in England.

In addition it:

  • has developed an active risk management programme to raise NHS standards and reduce incidence of negligence
  • monitors human rights case law on behalf of the NHS
  • co-ordinates claims for equal pay in the NHS
  • handles Family Health Service appeals (i.e. disputes between doctors, dentists, opticians and pharmacists and NHS Primary Care Trusts) (since April 2005).

In 2004-5 the Authority dealt with 5,609 claims of clinical negligence and 3,766 of non-clinical negligence. About 38% of claims are abandoned by the claimant, and about 43% are settled out of court. In 2004-5 £502.9 million was paid out in respect of clinical negligence claims, and £25.1 million in respect of non-clinical negligence.

Dame Joan Higgins is Chair of the Authority.

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