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Rise in number of clinical negligence claims

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Lester Morrill has warned of the dangers of the increasing number of inexperienced solicitors pursuing criminal negligence claims.

More and more firms, who have previously dealt with straightforward personal injury cases, are moving into the specialist field to shore up their revenue.

The number of clinical negligence claims in the UK rose by 18 per cent last year, to 11,945, driven by the large quantity of firms entering the market for the first time.

The NHS is now facing outstanding liabilities of £25.6billion.

Susan Bartfield, from Lester Morrill’s clinical negligence department, warned that the sudden surge of new solicitors could push up the financial burden on the NHS and leave patients disappointed when “hopeless” cases were pursued.

“Patients and loved ones end up disappointed, the NHS Litigation Authority have to pick up the costs and clinicians have to spend valuable time dealing with claims when their time should otherwise be spent caring for patients,” she said,

“Responsible and experienced clinical negligence specialist solicitors are an essential part of the NHS risk management system. Only by thorough investigation (which the Trusts do not always undertake) are system failures and errors identified.”