Report: Clinical / Social Care Negligence Cases in Northern Ireland (2018/19)

The Department of Health has today published statistics collected from Health & Social Care (HSC) Trusts, Agencies and Legacy Health and Social Services (HSS) Boards on all clinical  & social care negligence cases in Northern Ireland open during the year ending 31 March 2019.

The statistical bulletin presents information on clinical / social care negligence cases that were open at any stage during the year ending 31 March 2019.

Key finding include:

  • Payments in 2018/19:
    • During 2018/19, £29.2 million was paid on clinical / social care negligence cases in Northern Ireland.
    • Of the £29.2 million paid on clinical / social care negligence cases in 2018/19, almost three quarters (72.7%, £21.2m) was paid in damages, £5.8 million (19.9%) in plaintiff costs and £2.1 million (7.4%) in defence costs.
    • During the last five years, the amount paid on clinical / social care negligence cases decreased by £12.1 million (29.4%), from £41.4 million in 2014/15 to £29.2 million in 2018/19.
  • Payments to Date:
    • During 2018/19, 3,995 clinical / social care negligence cases were open at any stage, 394 (10.9%) more than in 2014/15 (3,601).
    • In 2018/19, 704 new cases were opened, 789 cases were closed, whilst 2,995 cases remained open and 211 cases had been settled at 31 March 2019.
    • Clinical / social care negligence cases open at any stage in 2018/19, had been open on average for 2.8 years, slightly longer than 2017/18 (2.6 years).
    • Over half (54.2%, 2,164) of cases open in 2018/19, related to four specialties; ‘Obstetrics’ (712), ‘Accident & Emergency’ (670), ‘General Surgery’ (413) and ‘Trauma and Orthopaedics’ (369).
    • A total of £138.3 million has been paid to date on the 3,995 clinical / social care negligence cases which were open at any stage during 2018/19. Over three quarters (76.9%, £106.3m) had been paid in damages and £32.0 million (23.1%) paid out in legal costs (defence and plaintiff).
    • Over half (56.2%, £77.7m) of the amount paid out on clinical / social care negligence cases open at any stage during 2018/19 related to the ‘Obstetrics’ speciality, of which, four fifths (80.7%, £62.7m) had been paid in damages.

Download the report here.

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