Introducing Fixed Recoverable Costs in lower value clinical negligence claims

Closed 2 May 2017

Opened 30 Jan 2017


This consultation seeks views on proposals to introduce a system of Fixed Recoverable Costs (FRC) for lower value clinical negligence claims.  The FRC scheme will apply across the NHS, not-for-profit and private healthcare providers in England and Wales. It will not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Read the consultation documents.

We want to hear from patients, their families or carers as well as the legal community, healthcare providers and insurers as part of this consultation.

Introducing FRC is an important part of the government’s programme of work to improve patient care and patient experience, and the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of clinical negligence claims.

According to the NHS Litigation Authority annual report and accounts 2015/16, the annual cost of clinical negligence in the NHS in England has risen from £1.2billion in 2014/15 to £1.5billion in 2015/16. The current system of claims resolution is often lengthy, adversarial and the escalating the costs of litigation is not sustainable.

The FRC scheme will be set out in Civil Procedure Rules. It aims to support:

  • quicker and more cost effective resolution for all parties
  • greater opportunities for early learning of lessons from harmful incidents to inform safer clinical practice
  • access to justice for those claimants bringing clinical negligence claims of a low monetary value, but complex nature
  • patients’ access to justice by streamlining the system and incentivising earlier resolution of such claims 


On 6 April 2017 we published an amended version of the questionnaire

The amends are as follows:

  • In the ‘Please tell us about yourself’ section we have included the option to select ‘Another type of organisation’ when indicating if you are responding on behalf of an organisation
  • Q5 on expert witnesses has been updated to include a Yes/No tick box as well as a free text box
  • Q8 on the draft protocol and rules has been amended to allow respondents to indicate whether they support each of the proposals listed. 

What Happens Next

Updated 25 July 2017

Following the formation of a new government on 9 June 2017, decisions on the development of this policy have not yet been finalised. We will publish the results in due course.



  • Voluntary groups
  • Community groups
  • Charities
  • Civil society
  • Advocacy or support organisations
  • GPs
  • Clinicians
  • Managers
  • Commissioners
  • Doctors
  • Midwives
  • Foundation Trusts
  • NHS Commissioning Board
  • Tribunal Service
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • NHS quality improvement leads
  • NHS patient experience leads
  • NHS patient safety leads
  • clinical staff
  • patient groups and patient advocates
  • Regulatory body
  • Academic/ Professional institution
  • Employer representatives
  • Employee representatives
  • Trade union
  • Royal Colleges
  • Local authority
  • Social care provider
  • Members of the public
  • Patients
  • individuals and families with experience of clinical investigations


  • GP consortia
  • Patient safety
  • Patient care
  • Clinical investigations
  • Clinical negligence
  • Quality improvement
  • NHS Commissioning Board
  • Clinical Governance