7 facts from the latest NHS negligence claims statistics 2022/23

By Blackwater Law

people in a hospital waiting room

NHS Resolution has released its annual report and accounts for 2022/23. It outlines the cost of clinical negligence to the NHS.

Updated: 17/07/23

How much does the NHS pay out in claims?

According to NHS Resolution, NHS compensation payouts in 2021/22 amounted to £ 2.6 billion. This is an increase on the previous year’s figure of £2.4 billion.

Just over a quarter of the £2.6 billion is spent on legal costs.

How much does the NHS get sued every year?

In 2021/22 the NHS received 13,551 new clinical claims.

The number of clinical claims the NHS receives has reduced for the first time in 5 years.


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How often does the NHS get sued?

In 2022/23 the NHS received 13,511 clinical claims. This equates to over 37 claims per day.

The NHS gets sued approximately once every 40 minutes!

What percentage of medical negligence claims are successful?

Of the 13,551 clinical claims received by the NHS in 2022/2023, the number of claims that reached some sort of settlement was 13,499.

This means that 99% of claims against NHS are successful in reaching some form of settlement.

51% of the claims resulted in the payment of damages.

How much do medical negligence claims cost the NHS?

According to NHS Resolution, the estimated ‘cost of harm’ to the NHS in 2022/23 is £6.6 billion, which includes legal costs. This does not include the ‘hidden costs’ of investigating these claims.

Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors acted for Mr L in a medical negligence claim in the High Court after he was misdiagnosed. The misdiagnosis meant he went on to suffer a serious stroke-causing life-limiting disability.

How much of the NHS budget is spent on compensation?

In 2022/23, it’s reported that the total planned NHS budget was £180 billion. This means that the cost of clinical negligence takes just over 3.5% of the annual budget.

Which area of the NHS has the most claims, and which is the costliest?

For 2022/23 the areas of the NHS which received the most claims were:

Obstetrics (Non-cerebral palsy/brain damage) – 1,308
Emergency Medicine – 1,207 claims
Orthopaedic Surgery – 1,106
General Surgery – 74
Gynaecology – 603

The costliest area of care is obstetrics, which accounts for 13% of all claims, and 63% of the annual cost of harm to the NHS.

You can find the accounts and statistics on the NHS Resolution website

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