Westminster Health Forum

Clinical negligence in the NHS: patient safety, legal cost reform and next steps for policy


This conference will be a timely opportunity to discuss the key issues for clinical negligence in the NHS - looking at:

  • priorities for patient safety,
  • the potential for legal cost reform, and
  • next steps for policy.

It will be an opportunity to discuss priorities for the Health Service Safety Investigations (HSSIB) Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech, which establishes the Health Service Safety Investigations Body as a non-departmental public body to investigate patient safety incidents and make recommendations to prevent future safety failures.

The seminar takes place with findings in NHS Resolution’s Annual Report and Accounts that the cost of claims is rising although the number of claims is remaining steady - and the recent news that NHS faces a huge clinical negligence legal fees bill.


We are pleased to be able to include in this seminar a keynote address from Helen Vernon, Chief Executive, NHS Resolution.

Further confirmed speakers include: Ed Fletcher, Fletchers Solicitors; Dr Matthew Lee, Medical Defence Union; John Machin, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Getting It Right First Time Programme; David Roberts, Capsticks; Dr Jenny Vaughan, The Doctors Association and London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, and Peter Walsh, Action against Medical Accidents.

Areas for discussion at this conference include:

  • What more could be done to reduce avoidable harm, learn from harm when failures occur, and address the rising cost of clinical negligence in the NHS;
  • The role of investigations and whistleblowers in improving patient safety, changing organisational cultures, and preventing future claims; and
  • The way forward for legal cost reform to tackle the rising cost of claims including the future for fixed recoverable costs, as well as approaches such as mediation.

The agenda

  • Assessing the rising cost of clinical negligence in the NHS and key issues for NHS Resolution;
  • The impact of investigations in improving patient safety;
  • Improving patient safety in the NHS - tackling unwarranted variation, preventing safety failures, and learning from harm;
  • Challenges and opportunities for keeping cases out of litigation - mediation, regulation, and moving forward with legal cost reform; and
  • Next steps for policy.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

Westminster Health Forum conferences typically attract strong interest from policymakers. This seminar will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have already reserved places representing: DHSC, the Ministry of Justice; HM Treasury; and the National Audit Office.

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Health Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates