Editorials

Mutual trust?

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6982.756 (Published 25 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:756
  1. Paul Fenn,
  2. Robert Dingwall
  1. Norwich Union professor of insurance studies School of Management and Finance, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD
  2. Professor of social studies School of Social Studies

    Trusts should read the small print of the new NHS Mutual Fund

    As the vesting date of the new NHS Mutual Fund approaches, trusts are thronging to sign up for the scheme, which is designed to “protect … against the adverse effects of large clinical negligence claims.”1 Currently, trusts deal with this risk in two ways: by allocating amounts from their budgets to meet small claims and by borrowing from the NHS to spread the cost of large claims over several years. Trusts fear large settlements because having to pass them on to purchasers through prices could make them uncompetitive. But this fear may be exaggerated, and trusts need accurate information on which to base their decision whether to continue with the current approach or to subscribe to the new scheme. After all, every pound paid into the fund is one less pound for patients' …

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