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Campaign video: #strikingabalance

Post date: 13/12/2017 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 14/02/2019

Watch our introductory video for the Striking a Balance campaign which MPS is leading to control the rising cost of clinical negligence.

At the Medical Protection Society we know our members work hard to deliver excellent care in an increasingly challenging environment. We also know that unfortunately mistakes do happen.

Reasonable compensation is undoubtedly deserved if a patient has been genuinely harmed as a result of clinical negligence. But clinical negligence costs are rising at a worrying rate– a balance needs to be struck between compensation that is reasonable, but also affordable to the NHS and society.

Clinical negligence claims cost the NHS huge amounts of money each year. An estimated £65billion will be needed for future clinical negligence costs, relating to claims arising from incidents that have already occurred.

Since 2010/11 spend on clinical negligence has almost doubled (a 98% increase)–this presents an average 12% increase every year.

In 2016/17 £1.7billion was spent, which equates to the cost of training over 7,300 new doctors.

The reduction in the personal injury discount rate – which determines the amount of compensation for claims involving future care costs or loss of earnings – has made an already challenging situation worse. It will significantly increase the cost of settling claims and must serve as a wake-up call about the sustainability of the situation we’re in...

A significant sum of NHS money is being diverted away from front-line patient care at a time when the NHS is under increasing financial pressure.

86% of healthcare professionals say that if the cost of clinical negligence continues to increase at the same rate, it could threaten the sustainability of the NHS.

The fear of being sued is also affecting the health and wellbeing of doctors and how they see their future careers in healthcare.

72% of our members say the fear of being sued has caused them stress or anxiety and 64% say it’s making them consider their future in the profession.

We are calling for an urgent package of legal reforms to control the spiralling costs of clinical negligence claims and help to create a sustainable future.

This includes:

  1. Introducing fixed legal costs for lower value claims – so lawyers don’t receive more in legal fees than the patient does in compensation
  2. A limit on future care costs, based on the realities of providing home based care
  3. The introduction of an ultimate limitation period of ten years between the date of an adverse incident and when a claim can be made

We need your help in striking a balance – to control the spiralling costs, keep more public money in the NHS for front line care, and ensure the healthcare workers we depend on every day don’t leave the profession. Join the campaign.

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