NHS trusts set aside £700 million to cover costs of clinical negligence claims.

An increase in the use of “no win, no fee” cases taken on by solicitors for clients claiming clinical negligence is a strong factor in the need by NHS trusts to set aside more money against potential payouts, according to a report on the BBC website.

Trusts have set aside £713m to cover costs, up from about £400m this year. The NHS Litigation Authority collects money every winter from health trusts to cover expected clinical negligence payouts. More than half of the total payouts are for maternity-related cases.

Steve Walker, chief executive of the NHS Litigation Authority, said part of the increase was prompted by a recent ruling in the Court of Appeal which changes the way that payments for care are calculated.

Dr Karen Roberts, of the doctors’ insurance body the Medical Defence Union, said: “Of course, claimants who have been negligently harmed by their doctor should be compensated, but a system that provides solicitors' firms with rewards which dwarf the value of a claim needs to be reformed.”

*    If you think you may have a claim for clinical negligence, or need to defend a claim for medical negligence, you can find a clinical negligence barrister in myBarrister.