Labour MP criticises government for inaction on claims costs

Labour MP Stella Creasy has once again made her displeasure known with the government for their inaction when it comes to doing more to manage high costs incurred by no win no fee lawyers when it comes to medical negligence claims.

Official figures say that medical negligence claims costs incurred by the NHS have increased by a massive £10 billion over the last five years, resulting in a massive £16.6 billion legal bill. However, Ms Creasy has taken issue with the fact that the Department of Health has neither conducted an investigation into why this has been happening nor have they acted to curb this massive rise.

The Labour MP says that while she has become accustomed to government departments being sluggish when it comes to getting a handle on suddenly rising costs from her time on the Public Accounts Committee, with the National Audit Office reporting that 15 per cent of the government’s liabilities now originate from medical negligence cases, something must be done. Those suffering harm due to mistakes made on the part of medical staff are entitled to make personal injury claims, Ms Creasy said, but with medical technologies leading to longer life expectancies, people with severe conditions are living longer and requiring much larger personal injury compensation payments as a result – but this is not enough to account for the massive liability increases.

The Labour MP says that one out of every three pounds paid out by the NHS Litigation Authority goes directly to law firms on average. However, some claimants have received settlements that have been dwarfed by the costs incurred in pursuing a claim; this must be remedied, Ms Creasy said in order to reduce costs.