The Department of Health (DoH) 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 2020.
The statistical bulletin presents information on clinical / social care negligence cases that were open at any stage during the year ending 31 March 2020.
The key findings presented in the statistics release are listed below.
Payments in 2019/20:
- During 2019/20, £32.8 million was paid on clinical / social care negligence cases in Northern Ireland (Tables 1 & 2).
- Of the £32.8 million paid on clinical / social care negligence cases in 2019/20, over two thirds (70.6%, £23.2m) was paid in damages, £6.6 million (20.1%) in plaintiff costs and £3.0 million (9.2%) in defence costs (Figure 2, Table 2).
- During the last five years, the amount paid on clinical / social care negligence cases increased by £6.3 million (23.6%), from £26.6 million in 2015/16 to £32.8 million in 2019/20 (Table 1).
Payments to Date:
- During 2019/20, 4,022 clinical / social care negligence cases were open at any stage, 409 (11.3%) more than in 2015/16 (3,601) (Table 3).
- In 2019/20, 786 new cases were opened, 642 cases were closed, whilst 3,154 cases remained open and 226 cases had been settled at 31 March 2020 (Figure 5, Tables 4 - 8).
- Clinical / social care negligence cases open at any stage in 2019/20, had been open on average for 2.6 years, slightly shorter than 2018/19 (2.8 years) (Figure 11).
- Over half (51.3%, 2,012) of cases open in 2019/20, related to four specialties; ‘Obstetrics’ (617), ‘Accident & Emergency’ (654), ‘General Surgery’ (386) and ‘Trauma and Orthopaedics’ (328) (Table 14).
- A total of £151.5 million has been paid to date on the 4,002 clinical / social care negligence cases which were open at any stage during 2019/20. Over three quarters (77.2%, £117.0m) had been paid in damages and £34.5 million (22.8%) paid out in legal costs (defence and plaintiff) (Table 15).
- Three fifths (60.4%, £91.5m) of the amount paid out on clinical / social care negligence cases open at any stage during 2019/20 related to the Obstetrics speciality, of which, four fifths (80.4%, £73.7m) had been paid in damages (Table 16).
The information release is published on the Departmental website.
Notes to editors:
1. The information detailed in this publication is derived from the Departmental CN1 and CN1a statistical returns provided by Health & Social Care (HSC) Trusts, Agencies and Legacy Health and Social Services (HSS) Boards.
2. All information has been validated with Health & Social Care Trusts, and incorporates all returns and amendments received up to 1 May 2021.
3. Further information on Clinical / Social Care Negligence statistics is available from:
Hospital Information Branch
Department of Health
Annexe 2, Castle Buildings
Stormont, BT4 3SQ
4. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office by email: email@example.com.
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6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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