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Medical negligence claims (FOI)

Medical negligence claims (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 17 June 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.



Please would you detail the number of medical negligence cases against the mental health department from 1980 to present that have been taken to court and list the cases including compensation awards and failures of the department.


Please also provide the number of cases against mental health department for medical negligence that have not reached court for the last 10 years and the amounts awarded for the negligence. Please include how many claims for the last ten years were made against mental health department and show how many per year whether they reached court or were settled outside of court.


A and B

  • the Defendant in civil claims of clinical negligence involving the mental health department is the Minister for Health and Social / Community Services (HCS). Consequently, claims are not against the mental health department, and for the purposes of this response, any complaint and / or allegation would be in relation to mental health services

  • a claim is classified as being a written approach to the Minister for Health and Social / Community Services, either by a legal representative acting for a patient and / or patient’s family or a litigant in person seeking to claim compensation in relation to any alleged negligent act, error or omission by any employee of the Minister

  • for the purpose of this response, claims ‘taken to court’ are interpreted as claims where an Order of Justice has been issued against the Minister for Health and Social / Community Services

  • claims that ‘have not reached court’ are claims where a Letter of Claim has been received and / or allegations of negligence have been received and compensation sought

  • settlements may be made out of court, whether the claims are ‘taken to court’ or ‘may not have reached court’, or claims may be determined by the Court at trial

  • individual compensation awards for damages may have a confidentiality agreement included in the terms of settlement. Compensation awards may be global settlements which include damages, costs and disbursements

  • where details of the failures of the department have been sought, it should be noted that although there may be allegations against the Department by the claimant, these may not be admitted or accepted

Between 2001 and 2019, there have been seven claims made against the Minister that relate to mental health services. The outcomes of these claims include; out of court settlement, denial of liability, withdrawn claim, and claims that did not progress.

Please note that HCS do not hold information relating to claims made against the Minister prior to 2001 in a form that will enable collation of data within the timeframe prescribed under Article 16 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.

Please also note that HCS is unable to provide further detail in regard to the claims made against the Minister as the number of claims is too small. Disclosure control has been applied under Article 25 (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 in order to protect the privacy of individuals.

Articles Applied

Article 16 A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive

(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.

Regulation 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014 allows an authority to refuse a request for information where the estimated cost of dealing with the request would exceed the specified amount of the cost limit of £500. This is the estimated cost of one person spending 12.5 working hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting 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.

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