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Seven days in medicine: 10-16 July 2019

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4712 (Published 18 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4712

Clinical negligence

NHS pay-outs of £2.4bn prompt call for reform

Medical defence experts urged the UK government to hasten reform of the legal process for clinical negligence claims, as figures showed that the cost to the NHS in England rose again last year. The annual report by NHS Resolution (formerly the NHS Litigation Authority) showed that the NHS paid out £2.4bn (€2.7bn; $3.0bn) on clinical negligence in 2018-19,1 up by £137m from the previous year. The number of claims remained relatively stable, and the increase was largely due to high value claims. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.l4688)

Abortion rights

MPs vote to liberalise NI laws

The UK parliament voted overwhelmingly to liberalise abortion laws in Northern Ireland and bring them into line with the rest of the UK, after Stella Creasy, a Labour MP, put down an amendment to the Northern Ireland Executive (Formation) Bill. Abortion law is devolved to the Northern Ireland assembly at Stormont, and the government had argued that it was up to the assembly to change the law, but the assembly has been suspended since January 2017 amid a political deadlock that shows no sign of ending. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.l4674)

General practice

Patient satisfaction is high despite pressures

Some 82.9% of patients rated their overall experience of their general practice as good, in results from the latest GP Patient Survey of nearly 800 000 patients in England. Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said, “It is a testament to the incredible efforts of GPs and their teams that patient satisfaction has remained so high—especially given the intense resource pressures currently facing our …

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