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NHS faces increase of £500m in clinical negligence liability

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 27 April 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:997
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    The total liability for clinical negligence for the NHS increased to a total of £4.4bn ($6.4; €7.2bn)—an increase of £500m on the previous year—the summarised accounts for 2000-1 reported this week.

    The National Audit Office's report—NHS Summarised Accounts 2000-2001—warned that the reported total liability for clinical negligence was continuing to increase, although at a reduced rate compared with previous years.

    It suggested that a key cause of the increase was increased legal awards to fund the costs of future care for patients winning clinical negligence cases, which required a reassessment of the level of provision needed.

    The report noted: “Meeting the liabilities for clinical negligence continues to be a major challenge …

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