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NHS Litigation Authority

The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) is an executive non-departmental public body of the 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).


  • Performance 1
  • History 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


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 runs the clinical negligence scheme for trusts. All NHS trusts in England are members of the scheme. They paid £968m in contributions in 2013-14 an increase of 38% since 2009. In principle trusts can insure themselves in the commercial market, but none have yet done so, possibly because leaving the scheme would crystallise their outstanding liabilities.[2] The authority altered the scheme in 2014 to give greater weight to trusts claims history when setting contributions.[3]

The Department of Health’s triennial review of the Authority in 2015 reported that it took an average of 2.7 years for claims to be reported and a further 1.31 years for claims to be resolved.[4]


It was established in 1995 as a special health authority.[5] 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.[6]

Mr Ian Dilks is chair of the authority, having taken up his appointment on 1 April 2014 for a three-year term of office.[7] He succeeded Dame Joan Higgins who was appointed in 2007.[8]


  1. ^ a b "NHS Litigation Authority: Report and accounts 2012/13" (PDF). NHS Litigation Authority. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Trusts threaten to quit negligence scheme". Health Service Journal. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Winners and losers from clinical negligence scheme changes". Health Service Journal. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "America's risk management approach could help the NHS". Health Service Journal. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "NHS Litigation Authority: Who we are and what we do" (PDF). NHS Litigation Authority. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ "New Chair appointed to the NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA) Board" (PDF) (Press release). NHS Litigation Authority. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Dame Joan opens the secret door". Daily Telegraph. 11 October 2007. 

External links

  • Official website
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