The NHS spends double the amount on maternity payouts compared to the actual cost of providing care

The NHS Spends Double The Amount On Maternity Pay-Outs Compared To The Actual Cost Of Providing Care

Analysis reveals that the compensation expenses for mothers and their families due to harm caused by NHS maternity services surpasses more than twice the amount spent by the health service on such care annually.

As per the latest annual report by NHS Resolution, the entity responsible for managing litigation within the Department of Health and Social Care, the total cost of clinical negligence-related harm in the 2021-22 reporting period amounted to £13.6 billion. Among this, maternity claims accounted for 60% of the expenses, totalling £8.2 billion for the year. Confirming earlier findings, a board paper published in March disclosed that NHS England allocates £3 billion each year specifically for maternity and neonatal services.

The cost of harm is determined by the present value of the estimated expenses associated with claims expected or received during the financial year. This includes the projected lump sum owed for claims, future periodic payments, and legal costs.

“We spend more on the cost of harm, when we could be spending more on prevention,” said James Titcombe, a bereaved father and campaigner at the Baby Lifeline charity.”

“Analysis by the Times Health Commission, following independent research by the charity Baby Lifeline, found that there were more than 10,000 clinical negligence claims brought against the NHS in 2021-22, with a total value of over £6 billion. Of those claims, 12 per cent were for obstetrics, accounting for 62 per cent of the total value, or £3.74 billion.”

Litigation claims against the NHS often take years to settle, leaving the NHS with significant financial liabilities as claims add up over time.

“For the families affected, the last thing on their mind is litigation,” Titcombe said. “They want the organisation to learn and they want to heal. They don’t want to be dragged through legal processes that re-traumatise them for years and years.”

In 2021-22, the health service’s financial liabilities for obstetrics claims reached £41.5 billion — £36.8 billion of which was for claims of negligence causing cerebral palsy or brain damage.


The NHS said: “Over the last decade, the NHS has made improvements to maternity services in England — with many fewer stillbirths and neonatal deaths — but we know further extensive action is needed to improve the experiences of women and their families across the country.”

Clinical negligence in maternity services can be a life change and devastating.

Making a claim can give you a sense of justice and can help to drive process changes to try to avoid other people going through similar experiences.

Our Nicholson Jones Sutton Medical Negligence Specialists are sympathetic, understanding, and are here to help you every step of the way.

If you would like to discuss an issue, please get in touch to arrange a free no obligation consultation. We’re available by email ( or phone at 01625 667 262.

*Source: Maternity payouts cost NHS twice the price of care itself (





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