Lancashire Care Foundation Trust this morning confirmed to HSJ it had given the NHS Litigation Authority notice it was leaving its clinical negligence scheme.

The trust, which provides mental health and community services, is the first in the country to withdraw from the clinical negligence scheme for trusts.

The NHSLA is an arm’s-length body which sees trusts pay into a risk pool according to the volume of work they do, with discounts available depending on whether they attain safety standards.

The NHSLA then handles any clinical negligence claims made against the organisation.

Some trusts have complained that they pay more for their cover under the scheme than is paid out on their behalf.

Lancashire’s finance director Dave Tomlinson had previously said the trust was effectively “subsidising others” by remaining part of the risk pool.

A spokeswoman for the trust said: “In order to ensure the best use of resources the trust has undertaken a review of alternative clinical negligence schemes. In common with many foundation trusts we have carefully considered what appropriate insurance cover we need and have tested the market to see what alternative arrangements there are.

“At this stage, we have decided to give 12 months’ notice to the NHSLA regarding [its] clinical negligence scheme for trusts and will be leaving in 2013.” 

HSJ last week reported insurance broker RK Harrison has claimed to be in “active discussions” with 72 NHS trusts over leaving the NHSLA’s clinical negligence scheme.

Harrogate and District Foundation Trust is one of the trusts considering leaving and was included on Lancashire care’s tender notice for a new insurer.

The trust’s head of corporate affairs and communication Chris Watt said: “Harrogate and District Foundation Trust is considering alternatives to the current clinical negligence insurance provider (NHS Litigation Authority). No decision has yet been taken and we are not undertaking a procurement process at present.

“The tender notice relates to Lancashire Care Foundation Trust and provides Harrogate with an option to pursue this course of action in the future, if we decide to switch to an alternative clinical negligence provider.”

Airedale Foundation Trust was also considering leaving the scheme but a spokeswoman told HSJ the organisation would be staying with the NHS.