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Critical list

With a three-pronged funding fiasco on the cards and spiralling NHS payouts, it really is time health chiefs stopped repeating their mistakes, argues Philippa Luscombe

21 February 2011

It has not been a good year for the clinical negligence marketplace, either in terms of the performance of the NHS or the proposals for the future of funding claims.

According to the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) Report and Accounts 2009-2010, clinical negligence claims rose by 9.2 per cent and the amount paid out in damages by the NHSLA increased by six per cent to over £650m.

It was clear as long ago as last autumn that not only would the disturbingly high number of adverse incidents, many of which give rise to clinical negligence claims, continue to rise for the foreseeable future but that it would be even more difficult for frontline claimant lawyers to achieve successful outcomes for clients who have suffered as a result of unacceptable errors in their care.

The two main reasons for this are the NHS’ continuing failure to learn from its mistakes and the government’s announced intention to substantially change the way in which litigation, including cli...

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