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What is the role of the NHS Litigation Authority?

The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) are the body who deal with claims for compensation against the NHS following clinical, surgical and medical negligence. They have worked in this capacity since 1995 and also strive to minimise the chances of the NHS being sued following negligent or substandard treatment. The NHSLA is also committed to providing information and education to all for the minimisation of dangers as well as promoting the highest standards of care and safety throughout the health services.

The NHSLA communicate all claims from injured or harmed victims to the health service and will provide the specific trust with the necessary legal advisers in order to manage the case made against them. The legal advisers serve to bring about a settlement with the victim and as such, very few cases are taken to court. The NHSLA resolve 96% of all cases out of court, enabling them to satisfy claimants whilst protecting NHS resources. This serves to minimise legal fees for both sides, reach an agreeable settlement quickly and limit the impact on the trust. The aim of the Authority is to reach fair settlements as quickly and simply as possible.

However, it is not always possible for the advisers to reach agreeable terms with a claimant and some cases will go to court. In these instances, the NHSLA solicitors will represent the trust involved in the case. The NHSLA is a public body, and so although it provides a support and defence role for NHS trusts, they also provide advice and guidance to patients in order to assist with claim cases on their website.