'NHS is sitting on a time bomb of future claims' - MDU

Posted On: 
14th November 2016

Dr Michael Devlin, Medical Defence Union (MDU) head of professional standards and liaison, responds to figures showing the NHS litigation authority needs to reserve £56.4 billion for negligence claims.

“These figures reveal the urgent need to make compensation levels more affordable. The NHS is sitting on a time bomb of future claims and legal reform is the only way to address it and to keep money within the NHS for treatment of patients.”

“This is not a problem caused by clinical standards, which remain very high. It is the result mainly of economic pressure and an outdated legal system meaning compensation must be calculated on the basis of private rather than NHS care. This means billions of pounds leaving NHS funds to provide independent sector care for just one person, taking away funds that could be used for other patients, including those with equally serious injuries who can’t prove negligence.

“The NHS is haemorrhaging money on claims which it should be able to retain so that all patients benefit. Patients must be compensated but in a fairer, more affordable way.”