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Indemnity fees to rise 10 per cent

Medical defence bodies have defended their decision to increase indemnity fees by up to 10 per cent for the coming year.

The Medical Defence Union and Medical Protection Society both said their rises were caused by the increasing number of large settlements.

The MDU, which recently

announced a 10 per cent fee

increase, said £1 million-plus settlements were now common- place and its top payout in the past year in a case involving a GP was in excess of £3 million.

Dr Matt Lee, a medicolegal adviser at the MDU, said recent changes making legal aid less easy to access meant claims tended to have been 'better worked up'.

He added: 'As well as the GMC there are a whole load

of other areas where doctors face criticism and scrutiny ­ for example the National Clinical Advisory Service, criminal courts and coroners.'

The Medical Protection Society, whose fees are rising 7.6 per cent, said it had settled a claim of £2.5 million in the last year.

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