NHS LA to consult on pricing of Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts

The NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA) is consulting on how contributions to the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) are set.

With the cost of clinical negligence costs rising, the body has said that it is committed to reducing costs and supporting the provision of clinical services across the NHS.

The CNST helps manage liabilities arising from clinical negligence in England. It is a not-for-profit membership scheme which operates on a pay-as-you-go basis, and collects the funds from hospital Trusts it needs every year for what it expects to pay out in clinical negligence claims.

According to the NHS LA, it wants to learn how it can better support incentives for improvement, with a price which is responsive to reductions in risk; a swift and fair response for patients and healthcare staff; more flexible indemnity which can be tailored to the requirements of individual organisations within the NHS; utilisation of the buying power of CNST, to ensure access to the very best risk management expertise at best value for the NHS; and a fair mechanism for pooling risk for very rare, high cost events.

Maternity claims make up the highest proportion of the NHS LA’s expenditure on claims. The consultation also considers earlier involvement for the NHS LA in such cases, in order to improve support for families bring opportunities for learning as close as possible to the event.

Helen Vernon, chief executive of the NHS LA, said: “CNST provides unlimited and comprehensive cover for clinical negligence and a specialist national claims service. We want to hear views on how we might develop CNST to better support system wide learning, incentivise improvement and share costs fairly.”

The consultation closes at noon on 17 May.