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'Ditch negligence claims proposals'

A medical defence body has called on the Government to ditch plans to extend the compensation recovery scheme to cases of clinical negligence.

The move could mean defence bodies having to pay for the NHS treatment a patient receives if they received that care as a result of previous negligence.

The Medical Protection Society said the shift could drive up GP subscriptions because it would have to cover NHS fees.

It added that the process of collecting compensation could end up being more expensive than the costs the NHS was seeking to recover.

Dr Gerard Panting, communications and policy director at the society, said the policy would prevent open reporting of practices. 'We don't argue with the general principle,' he said.

'But clinical negligence is a special issue. The danger with this sort of legislation is you might end up with something difficult to unravel. The effect on GPs would also be, in a small way, to inflate the subscription.'

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