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MPS calls on Government to publish long awaited strategy on the rising costs of clinical negligence

Post date: 12/07/2019 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 12/07/2019

Responding to the NHS Resolution Annual Report, Melanie Rowles, Director of Delivery Service said:

“The cost of claims to the NHS continues to rise with £2.4 billion paid out during 2018/19. The annual cost of clinical negligence for the NHS has risen by over 200% over the past 10 years.                                               

“It is right that there is reasonable compensation for patients harmed following clinical negligence but a balance must be struck against society’s ability to pay. The rising cost of clinical negligence means money is being diverted away from front line care at a time when the NHS is facing increasing financial pressure. The amount paid out on clinical negligence claims last year would equate to the cost of training over 10,000 new doctors.

“Legal reform is required to strike a balance between compensation that is reasonable, but also affordable. The National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee had both called on the Government to publish a joint strategy for tackling clinical negligence costs by September 2018, but we are still waiting for the detail.

“Bold reforms are needed that will make legal fees more proportionate, reduce the costs associated with expert reports and also make the system more predictable, fair and transparent.

“It is vital that there are also continued improvements in patient safety as well as an increased understanding of the drivers of claims. The rising cost of clinical negligence will not however be controlled without bold legal reforms.”



For press enquiries, please contact the MPS press office.

Notes to editor

  1. National Audit Office report ‘Managing the costs of clinical negligence in trusts’.

About MPS

The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”) is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world. Membership provides access to expert advice and support and can also provide, depending on the type of membership required, the right to request indemnity for any complaints or claims arising from professional practice.

Our in-house experts assist with the wide range of legal and ethical problems that arise from professional practice. This can include clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical and dental council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.

Our philosophy is to support safe practice in medicine and dentistry by helping to avert problems in the first place. We do this by promoting risk management through our workshops, E-learning, clinical risk assessments, publications, conferences, lectures and presentations.

MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.


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