NHS Litigation Authority

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The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) is a special health authority of the United Kingdom's Department of Health.

It is responsible for handling negligence claims made against NHS bodies in England, on behalf of these bodies.[1]

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.


It was established in 1995 as a special health authority.[2] Its current duties are established under the National Health Service Act 2006.[1]

The National Clinical Assessment Service became part of the NHS Litigation Authority on 1 April 2013, taking the headcount of employees at the NHS LA to over 200 people.[3]

Mr Ian Dilks is chair of the authority, having taken up his appointment on 1 April 2014 for a three-year term of office.[4] He succeeded Dame Joan Higgins who was appointed in 2007.[5]


  1. ^ a b "NHS Litigation Authority: Report and accounts 2012/13" (PDF). NHS Litigation Authority. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "NHS Litigation Authority: Who we are and what we do" (PDF). NHS Litigation Authority. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "National Clinical Assessment Service to become part of the NHS Litigation Authority on 1 April 2013". National Clinical Assessment Service. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "New Chair appointed to the NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA) Board" (PDF) (Press release). NHS Litigation Authority. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Dame Joan opens the secret door". Daily Telegraph. 11 October 2007. 

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