NHS Resolution 2018/19 Annual Report – What does this mean for customer acquisition?

NHS Resolution’s annual report and accounts reveals cases with an estimated damage of over £1million have risen by 44% since 2014/15.


  • Liabilities arising from claims has increased by 8% to £83.4 billion before 31st March 2019
  • The number of genuine claims in 2018/19 changed very little from 2017/18 at around 10,700
  • New non clinical claims i.e. employers’ liability and public liability, rose by 0.42%
  • Proportion of settled claims without damages for clinical was 44% compared with non-clinical at 56%
  • The number of mediations on clinical negligence claims has increased by 119% in a single year, up to 380 from 173 in 2017/18 – exceeding the number of clinical negligence trials (62) more than six-fold.
  • The number of new referrals received by the Practitioner Performance Advice team in relation to the performance of doctors, dentists and pharmacists within the NHS remained broadly consistent, with 925 new requests for advice compared to 919 in the previous year.
  • The received 171 appeals in accordance with the Pharmacy Regulations compared to 170 in the last financial year.

NHS Resolution explained in a follow-up post on the annual report that “there is encouraging news with evidence of an increased engagement with ways to resolve concerns which keep patients and NHS staff out of court, accompanied by a welcome reduction in legal costs”.

As the cost of clinical and non-clinical claims continue to rise and the number of available claims remains the same, the level of competition continues to intensify further. This has raised the cost of acquisition for each case, for instance search terms such as ‘medical negligence’, ‘medical compensation’, and ‘medical negligence solicitors’ can cost up to £80 per click through Google Ads with the cost increasing by 274% in the past year.

Further analysis of the report reveals a decrease in estimated damages for lower value claims since 2014/15 while high value claims (£250,001 +) have increased by 35.7% since 2014/15. Cases over £2 million have increased by 2% since 2017/18, this is a large increase from 985 in 2014/15 to 1337 in 2018/19. High value cases in 2018/19 made up 12.57% of all estimated claims damages, a very small percentage of the market. As law firms take on higher value cases in favour of lower value claims, which make up the biggest portion of claims (87.43% in 2018/19), we could see a reduction in access to justice for the average claimant.

Dr Christine Tomkins, chief executive of the Medical Defence Union, also responded to the report: “The cost of clinical negligence claims continues to spiral out of control and should deeply concern all of us who rely on NHS services. In 2018/19 NHS Resolution paid out £2.36 billion in compensating patients through its clinical negligence schemes. This could have funded over fifteen million MRI scans or 112,000 liver transplants.” The increase of higher value claims and demand for more will add fuel to the rising costs.

Given how competitive the market is now, many firms look to mmadigital to provide a consistent supply of enquiries, tapping into our market leading technologies and lead generation teams to lower a firm’s overall marketing spend.

If you would like more information on how we can help with your customer acquisition strategy for clinical negligence enquiries please call 0161 452 0311 or email Shannon Hartin at shannon@mmadigital.co.uk