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Negligence claims will “spiral out of control” if government doesn’t act, say MPs

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5612 (Published 01 December 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5612
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

The cost of clinical negligence claims will become uncontrollable if the government does not take action, MPs have warned.

Members of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said that a mixture of increasing efficiency targets, rising financial pressures, and patients waiting longer for treatment raised the risk of clinical negligence claims “spiralling out of control” without effective action.1

In a report on managing the costs of clinical negligence in hospital trusts, the committee said that the annual cost of claims had quadrupled over the past decade, from £0.4bn (€0.45bn; $0.54bn) in 2006-07 to £1.6bn in 2016-17, diverting resources away from frontline services.

The committee said that two main factors contributed to the rising costs. The first was rising damages for …

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