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Today the NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA) announced the launch of a pilot scheme to provide mediation as a means of resolving patient disputes fairly. The pilot has been developed in partnership with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) who will be working closely with the NHS LA to deliver the service. The service has been designed to support patients, families and NHS staff to work together to resolve claims where the patient and their families believe that NHS care was below standard. Where a claims can be resolved by mediation this avoids the need and expense of both sides going to court.

Mediation is a flexible process conducted confidentially where a trained mediator actively assists parties in working towards a negotiated agreement, with the parties in ultimate control of the decision to settle and the terms of their resolution. The majority of CEDR mediations last no more than a day and can be set up with just a few days’ notice if necessary. They are vastly quicker than any court process and significantly reduce the amount of time spent and legal fees to be paid by all sides.

The NHS LA will offer mediation under the pilot for all suitable claims involving a fatality (infant or elderly) or the care of the elderly. The mediations will be conducted by independent CEDR accredited mediators, selected from a panel drawn from a wide range of backgrounds. Legal rights remain intact and if a resolution cannot be agreed the claim can still be pursued through the court system.

Approximately 75% of CEDR’s mediations result in a satisfactory outcome within a single day with a further 20% settling within 30 days or least narrowing the issues to a more manageable level.

Once the parties agree to refer the matter to mediation under the NHS LA pilot, CEDR will offer the claimant a choice of CEDR mediators from the panel. The selected CEDR mediator will contact the parties by telephone to obtain the background information whilst CEDR’s team of dispute resolution advisors will assist the parties and the mediator throughout the process as required. The process is confidential and if a resolution is reached a binding agreement is drawn up and signed. Even if agreement is not reached on the day, the matter may be resolved shortly afterwards once there has been time to reflect upon what has been heard.

Dr Karl Mackie CBE, Chief Executive of CEDR commented, “Of the many mediation initiatives CEDR has worked on in the last two decades this must count as one of most important in the UK, with real potential to revolutionise the way in which disputes with the NHS are resolved to the benefit of all concerned.”

Chief Executive of the NHS Litigation Authority Catherine Dixon said: “Our new mediation service has been designed to support patients, families and NHS staff to work together to resolve claims for below standard NHS care. We hope that it will help patients, their families and NHS staff resolve concerns quickly and cost effectively whilst also enabling all the parties to meet to have their say without the need to go to court. “We are excited about this important new service and hope that it be embraced by the NHS, patients and their families as a truly effective way of resolving claims in the NHS.”


All suitable claims will be considered on a case by case basis by the NHS LA. All queries regarding the service and the mediation of any potential cases should be addressed to Julienne Vernon, Head of Claims-Quality:

To find out more please visit:

Notes to Editors:  

About CEDR

CEDR is a not-for-profit body, founded in 1990, that campaigns for better resolution of disputes and management of conflicts. CEDR’s innovative initiatives promote awareness of the need for more effective leadership in collaboration and dialogue and how to achieve it.
CEDR is Europe’s largest independent Alternative Dispute Resolution service for both commercial and consumer disputes handling 8,000 to 10,000 cases a year.
CEDR is the leading negotiation and conflict management trainer internationally in the field and its acclaimed Mediator Skills Training course has been undertaken by over 7000 mediators in 70 countries.

The CEDR Foundation consults globally on Civil Justice reform and helps business develop conflict management systems.

For further information please contact:

Andy Rogers, Communications Director, CEDR, +44(0)20 7536 6000,

Erica McAlpine, NHS LA External Communications Manager, +44(0)20 7811 2689,

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) in the following categories: Public Sector, Third Sector & Legal, for more information visit