[Skip to content]

NCAS Homepage

National Clinical Assessment Service to become part of NHS Litigation Authority

8 August 2012


The Department of Health has decided that the National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS) will become an operating division of the NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA) from 1 April 2013, when the period of its hosting by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) comes to an end.


Catherine Dixon, Chief Executive of the NHS LA, said:


'I am delighted that NCAS is becoming part of the NHS LA. Together we can continue to develop the work NCAS has already begun to create a more flexible and customer-focused service for the NHS.'


The NHS LA and NCAS have a shared common purpose, and complementary expertise, to improve patient safety in the NHS and in healthcare more broadly.


Sir Andrew Dillon, Chief Executive of NICE, commented:


'We will be pleased to work with NCAS and the NHS LA on the transfer. This will be completed by 1 April 2013 and will mark the end of our agreed one-year hosting period.'


Responsibility for governance of NCAS will transfer to the Board of the NHS LA, chaired by Professor Dame Joan Higgins. 


Interim Director of NCAS, Lynn Hugo, added:


'I’m delighted that it has been agreed that NCAS will be an operating division of NHS LA.  The Department has acknowledged the considerable amount of work that NCAS has already begun on the development of a more flexible service model.  We know there is more to do and we will now be able to progress this work together with our NHS LA colleagues from a stable platform within the NHS.' 




Notes to editors   


  1. NCAS enhances patient safety by working with NHS organisations across the UK to help resolve concerns about the professional practice of doctors, dentists and pharmacists. 

  2. Its free advice line – 020 7972 2999 – is available 24-hours-a-day to NHS clinicians, their managers and commissioners. NCAS also provides a broad range of support, education and clinical assessment services. 

  3. The NHS Litigation Authority was created to deal with claims from patients who have been harmed while undergoing NHS treatment. It aims to pay justified claims promptly and fairly and to defend unjustified claims robustly. It also has a role in helping providers to learn lessons from claims, to better manage risks and improve patient and staff safety.

  4. Since 1 April 2012, following a DH review in July 2010, Liberating the NHS: Report of the arms-length bodies review NCAS has been temporarily hosted by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

  5. NCAS will become an operating division of NHS LA on 1 April 2013. A copy of the Department of Health’s decision letter can be found  here

  6. For further information about this press release, please contact either:


             Dean Cowley at NHS LA on 020 7811 2702, dean.cowley@nhsla.com     

             Paul Wastell, Head of Communications at NCAS, on 020 7972 2908,  paul.wastell@ncas.nhs.uk