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Multimillion-pound compensation claims against GPs increase

Multimillion-pound compensation claims against GPs and private consultants have risen three-fold over the past decade, a medical defence organisation has said.

The Medical Defence Union said that it has settled 12 compensation claims in excess of £1m in 2015.

In 2005, just four settled claims exceeded £1m, while it settled only a single claim by that amount in 1995.

The MDU said it paid out £8.5 million in compensation and legal costs after a GP missed a diagnosis of a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

Dr Michael Devlin, head of professional standards and liaison at the MDU said: ‘We are seeing disturbing rises in the cost of clinical negligence claims and a surge of multi-million pound damages awards against our GP and consultant members.

‘These payments are no reflection on clinical standards, which remain high, but rather a result of a combination of economic pressure and an outdated legal system meaning compensation costs are calculated on the basis of private, rather than NHS care.’

Readers' comments (4)

  • salaried 80 k a year
    defense fee 10 k a year excluding OOH
    pension 10 k a year
    employer contribution 10 k a year
    after other expenses pay is 50 k a year - for the level of stress and responsibility it is simply not worth it.

    defense fees will rise as with other expenses but our pay is falling. i'm not in the job for money but i do have bills to pay. soon it won't be economically viable being a salaried and i guess also a gp partner. locum work may be the only choice but if they make the mistake of capping locum pay soon there will be no doctors in the UK period as it won't be economically viable.

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  • The pay differential between salaried doctors - average salary £70 K and principles £130 K increases the impact of rising indemnity costs - which are similar for both parties

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  • Unless the lawmakers cap the fees for solicitors to reasonable levels and not allow 30 to 50% of the million going to the lawyers involved, there is no way out of this maze. Question remains about the will do enforce this self regulation by the lawmakers. If a GP charged 250 per hour like a solicitor, he would be ostracized out of the profession.

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  • Bob Hodges

    £130k for principles?

    Maybe inside the M25, but not on a planet anywhere near me.

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