Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Medical negligence and the NHS: an economic analysis


Author Info

  • Adrian Towse

    (Office of Health Economics, London, UK)

  • Patricia Danzon

    (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA)


Medical negligence was estimated to cost the NHS in England £235m in 1996|1997, growing at rate of up to 25% per annum. Yet analysis of NHS accounts suggest that a change in accounting policy has led to growth rates and recurrent expenditure on medical negligence being over estimated. The main concern, however, is total societal cost, not the accounting cost to the NHS. The objective of policy should be to ensure that cost-effective investment in injury prevention takes place. Measures that simply shift cost to other social budgets or onto patients are not helpful. NHS arrangements changed in the 1990s with Trusts taking responsibility for claims against hospital doctors and a new NHS Litigation Authority providing insurance for Trusts. It is unclear, however, whether Trusts have had either the incentives or the ability to implement effect risk management policies. Estimates based on two US studies and one UK study suggest that negligence in the NHS in England may cause around 90-000 adverse events per year involving 13-500 deaths, but only resulting in around 7000 claims and 2000 payments. A priority must be the establishment of a comprehensive national database of claims information. Other policy measures are proposed to reinforce the incentives on Trusts and doctors to implement cost-effective risk management policies. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Download Info

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 93-101

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:8:y:1999:i:2:p:93-101

Contact details of provider:
Web page:

Related research



No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Amaral-Garcia, Sofia & Grembi, Veronica, 2014. "Curb your premium: The impact of monitoring malpractice claims," Health Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 139-146.
  2. Paula González, 2004. "Should physicians' dual practice be limited? An incentive approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(6), pages 505-524.
  3. Marinoso, Begona Garcia & Jelovac, Izabela, 2003. "GPs' payment contracts and their referral practice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 617-635, July.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:8:y:1999:i:2:p:93-101. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.