Success for small claims pilot scheme

The pilot scheme launched last December by the Department of Health to deal with small medical negligence claims of less than £15,000 within six months has been successful in cutting the time taken to settle claims

An independent evaluation published last week said the scheme, which involved the NHS Litigation Authority and Resolve, could save the NHS at least £6.5m per year.

The evaluation was undertaken by John Posnett of the York Health Economics Consortium. It will be considered by the Department of Health, which will report on the reform to the system for dealing with clinical negligence claims.

Resolve's aim is to reduce the time taken to complete claims of less than £15,000 to six months and within a capped fee of £3,250 covering all costs, including its own and those of the claimants' solicitors and medical experts.