Have medical negligence cases increased through the years?

The number of clinical negligence cases outnumbers those going to trial by 6 to 1

Medical negligence claims have increased throughout the years. Medical negligence refers to substandard care of a patient which causes injury or worsens their initial condition. The NHS has seen a rising number of medical negligence claims over the last decade. 

However, from 2018 to 2019, the number of claims started to steady and level out. Despite a consistently staggering number of claims against the NHS, fewer claims are progressing to trial. In fact, the number of clinical negligence cases outnumbers those going to trial by 6 to 1. 

The drastic decrease in medical negligence trials is down to a change in how the NHS handles these cases. The NHS aims to work closely with their partners in the health and justice system to improve patient safety. Both legal and medical staff are now contemplating medical negligence cases further to explore every outcome and option. By taking extra time to consider the case, we can reduce the patient’s stress and financial burden on the NHS. 

Medical negligence can have a detrimental impact on a patient’s quality of life. If you have experienced medical negligence, you may find a potential trial traumatic and stressful. Research your options and make the best choice for you and your healthcare 


The NHS Resolutions annual report revealed that from 2018 to 2019, clinical negligence payments came to a whopping £2359.9 million. These payments come out of the same budget used to pay for NHS staff, medical equipment and much more. 

There was a 1.5 per cent decrease in clinical negligence payments from 2019 to 2020, accounting for £2324.2 million. However, the number of claims actually increased from 2018 to 2019 by 9.3%, totalling 11882 claims. The NHS later found that they failed to meet their target for medical negligence claims from 2019 to 2020. 

Furthermore, the number of medical negligence claims are expected to rise and nearly double by 2023. The Medical Protection Society stated that the total annual cost that the NHS spends on medical negligence claims could train 6,500 doctors. As clinical negligence claims rise, the NHS is likely to be under a significant financial burden that they cannot withstand. 

MPs argue that the medical negligence system is now at a tipping point. There is a call for change in both the NHS and legal handling of negligence claims. Currently, medical negligence claims are increasing at a rate of 11.5 per cent per year. 

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