Medical negligence claims (FOI)
Medical negligence claims (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 23 February 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please detail the amount spent by Jersey’s government and its health departments on medical negligence claims in the past 6 years. This should cover the years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 stating in each year the total paid. If the figures for 2021 are not yet available please provide the figures for the earlier years in the near future and those for 2021 when available or which are known to the date of the response The figures should include cases were an amount is paid out without any admission of fault on behalf Jersey’s government and its health departments. It is recognised that amounts may be paid out on the same case in more than one year.
In addition please detail the costs incurred in each year in administering and defending claims for medical negligence, showing separately any costs paid to external consultants or lawyers.
To give context to the costs incurred how much in each of the last six years are the costs in a) and b) as a percentage of the total spent by Jersey’s government and its health departments on its health and medical services in each of those years ? How do these percentages compare to the equivalent figures in the UK?
To the latest date that it is available, please confirm the amount set aside for future claims or claims which have yet to be settled or paid out.
A + B
The total amount spent on medical negligence claims between 2016 and 2021 is £4,535,272.00. This figure includes defence costs, and payments paid to external consultants (or experts) and lawyers.
To break down the figure by year, and by costs paid to external consultants (or experts) and lawyers, could prejudice the commercial interests of Health and Community Services and impact on the privacy of individuals and therefore, Articles 33 (Commercial Interests) and Article 25 (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 have been applied.
Health and Community Services do not hold the information required in an aggregated format but the annual expenditure of the department for the years in question is included in the States of Jersey Annual Report and Accounts.
Annual Report and Accounts for the States of Jersey (gov.je)
Therefore, Article 23 (Information accessible to applicant by other means) has been applied to this element of the request.
We do not hold the equivalent information for the UK and Article 3 (Meaning of “information held by a public authority”) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 therefore applies.
Health and Community Services consider it prejudicial to its commercial interests to disclose the figures requested. Therefore, Article 33 (Commercial Interests) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied.
Article 3 - Meaning of “information held by a public authority”
For the purposes of this Law, information is held by a public authority if –
(a) it is held by the authority, otherwise than on behalf of another person; or
(b) it is held by another person on behalf of the authority.
Article 23 - Information accessible to applicant by other means
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is reasonably available to the applicant, otherwise than under this Law, whether or not free of charge.
(2) A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where the applicant may obtain the information.
Article 25 - Personal information
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.
(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018; and
(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.
(3) In determining for the purposes of this Article whether the lawfulness principle in Article 8(1)(a) of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 would be contravened by the disclosure of information, paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 2 to that Law (legitimate interests) is to be read as if sub-paragraph (b) (which disapplies the provision where the controller is a public authority) were omitted.
Article 33 - Commercial interests
Information is qualified exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes a trade secret; or
(b) its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of a person (including the scheduled public authority holding the information).
Public Interest Test
Article 33 is a qualified exemption and as such we have conducted a public interest test as required by law. Health and Community Services has assessed whether, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in supplying the information is outweighed by the public interest in not doing so. It is recognised that there is a public interest in providing transparency about medical negligence claims. However, having considered the public interest, Health and Community Services has concluded that the public interest in disclosing this information is outweighed by the public interest in withholding the information, to protect the Government of Jersey’s commercial interests.