Medical defence experts say they have paid out over £28m over four years in claims against GPs involving meningitis or meningococcal disease.
The figure raises questions over a recent preliminary judgment from Department of Health advisers that immunisation for meningitis B should not be included in the infant schedule.
The Medical Defence Union said it had paid £28m from 2008 to 2012 to settle 17 medical negligence claims involving meningitis or meningococcal disease on behalf of its GP members.
Dr. Sharmala Moodley, deputy head of claims at the MDU, said: ‘Failure to diagnose meningitis can have devastating consequences for patients, some of whom will suffer irreversible injuries such as brain damage, loss of limbs and organ damage.
‘This is reflected in the high costs of compensation payments, especially where cases involve children who may need care for many years to come.’