NHS Resolution has estimated that £65billion will be needed for future clinical negligence costs, relating to claims arising from incidents that have already occurred.
In 2016/17, £1.7billion was spent on clinical negligence and put into context, this equates to the cost of training over 7,300 new doctors. The NHS’s spend on clinical negligence has almost doubled since 2010/11 – this presents an average 12% increase every year.
It is important that there is reasonable compensation for patients who are harmed due to clinical negligence, but this must be balanced against society’s ability to pay. If this trend continues the balance will tip too far, and the cost will become unsustainable for the NHS and society.