NHS legal costs skyrocket

  • SumoMe

Over 270 million pounds is spent by the NHS every year to defend personal injury and negligence claims as legal bills

The bill for compensation is around twice this enormous spend on legal teams, coming in at more than 500 million.

The cost of the “winning team” of lawyers is often many times higher than the defence costs because of “success fees” in these fee arrangements.

Successful lawyers are due an extra reward for winning a case under these agreements, which can be an uplift of as much as 100%.

In one case a family received 2,000 after their relative died during cancer treatment from an infection. Giving a stark example of the claims of exaggerated legal fees, however, the families successful solicitors were paid 61,268 and it cost the NHS 31,541 to defend the claim, which is 92,809 legal, all in.

Another case saw lawyers submit a bill to the NHS for 208,636 after they secured a client’s family a total of 5,000 compensation. The defence costs were 32,700. Although the winning solicitors later negotiated their whopping fee down to 145,000, this still represents nearly 36 times the amount of compensation spent on the legal fees.

In a different action winning lawyers submitted a bill of 208,686 having won compensation for a client’s family of just 5,000. The costs of the NHS defence team were 32,700, and despite negotiation of the success fee downward to 145,000, the total cost of the litigation here was still almost 36 times the compensation award.

The Ministry of Justice has claimed that such fees will be reduced after the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act reforms no-win, no fee rules next year to cap so-called “success fees”.

However, it has been claimed that NHS Trusts should require that claims are sent mediation before any such expensive litigation spirals out of control.

But many have pointed out that referring any such cases to mediation as a first resort is highly likely to save NHS Trusts a huge amount of money right now.

If you have ever been involved in a legal dispute, you will understand how quickly the costs can spiral out of control and before you know it, you’re deciding whether to continue the case based on what its going to cost you to continue rather than whether you actually have a legitimate argument or not. With mediation a solution could have been found much faster. If you need legal help, you may now consider direct access Barrister as your first port of call. If you contact Barrister Direct, you will find Barristers most professional, very helpful, and extremely knowledgable in your desired area of expertise. They will guide you through the process of sorting out your legal issue, and finding a resolution.

For further information or If employers are in any doubt, or need advice to implement or overhaul their staff handbook then employment law experts are available to help at Barrister Direct which also offers a direct access barrister service.

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