'We want lawyers out of hospital and doctors out of court'.
Lawyers looking to drum up compensation claims against the NHS will be banned from advertising or working in hospitals from next month.
From February, law firms and claims management companies will be denied office space or advertising opportunities and NHS England said “every effort” should be made to prevent them from approaching patients or families in hospital without permission, The Press Association reports.
The health service spent £1.7 billion on clinical negligence claims in 2016/17, with legal costs accounting for an estimated 36% of the total bill, according to the latest NHS Resolution figures.
The changes to the NHS Standard Contract were first outlined last March in the Next Steps section of the NHS Five Year Forward View.
At the time, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: “We want lawyers out of hospital and doctors out of court.”
The ban, which will not impact on law firms who run pro bono schemes in major trauma centres, will come into force on February 1.