The Government may consider raising the limit for fixed recoverable costs in clinical negligence cases to £250,000, rather than the original proposed threshold of £100,000.
The Law Society Gazette has revealed that the Department of Health (DoH) is pushing for the introduction of a higher limit after a civil procedure rules committee meeting discussed new proposals from the government department.
The DoH has already said that it could make savings of £80m from the £100,000 limit for fixed fees, but it now believes that a further £25m would be saved by raising it to £250,000. It has also claimed that some senior members of the judiciary support the increase.
In its argument for the new threshold, the DoH has said that the NHS Litigation Authority has found that significant costs are often incurred by claimant lawyers in the pre-litigation and pre-notification period. It also told the CPR committee that there was evidence of claimant solicitors attempting to claim costs well in excess of the current guideline hourly rates which were also considerably higher than what the NHSLA pays its defence solicitors.
In late June health minister Ben Gummer said the Government would put together a formal consultation on fixing costs for clinical negligence cases brought against the NHS worth up to £100,000.