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Government needs coherent policy to tackle rising clinical negligence costs, says financial watchdog

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4159 (Published 07 September 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j4159
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

A coherent, cross government strategy is needed to tackle the rising cost of clinical negligence claims, and the Department of Health should work with the Ministry of Justice to develop this by September 2018, the National Audit Office (NAO) has said.1

Many of the factors contributing to rising clinical negligence costs have been identified by the Department of Health and NHS Resolution (formerly the NHS Litigation Authority), said the NAO’s report—but the factors likely to be most effective fall within the remit of more than one government department or are largely outside the health system’s control. They include developments in the legal market, the increasing level of damages awarded for high value claims, and changes in the discount rate used by …

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