NHS hospitals will no longer provide office or advertising space for law firms or claims management companies who encourage patients or their families to take the NHS to court.
Every effort must also be made to ensure lawyers and claims managers don’t approach patients or their families in hospital to drum up business without being asked first.
NHS England has taken action to protect patients, families, the NHS and taxpayers. Following a consultation exercise, the new rules have been introduced through changes to the NHS Standard Contract under which NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts operate.
The NHS spent £1.7 billion on clinical negligence claims in 2016/17, with legal costs accounting for 36 per cent of the total bill.
An NHS England spokesperson said: “Money spent defending speculative legal claims is money hospitals can’t then spend on looking after patients. That’s why legal firms who pursue the NHS should not advertise in or operate from our hospitals.