NHSLA tests in-house working to cut £120m defence costs

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The NHS Litigation Authority has said that it wants to try handling some of its claims in-house in an attempt to save money.

The Law Society Gazette has reported that the NHSLA spent £120 million on legal costs in its last financial year and that it wants to reduce that bill by using its new in-house litigation team.

Further plans to bring more cases in-house will be discussed after the litigation team completes a 12-month trial.

There will be no immediate reduction of the panel the NHSLA currently uses to defend claims. The panel is made up of 11 firms. Defence costs were 8% of the total that the NHSLA paid out in claims last year. They increased by 17% compared with the previous year.

The Gazette quoted a spokesman for the NHSLA who said: ‘The litigation team has been established to enable some of the NHS Litigation Authority’s legally qualified staff to act in cases where court proceedings are served. Currently, these cases need to be outsourced to our legal panel.”

The NHSLA dealt with 10,965 new clinical negligence claims last year, compared with 11,497 in 2014/15.

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Marek Handzel

Marek Handzel is the editor of Claims Magazine. Marek welcomes articles, letters, or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing marek.handzel@barkerbrooks.co.uk