GPs are likely to face two lawsuits over the course of their career, according to a report published by a medical defence body today.
The Medical Protection Society (MPS) says a full-time UK GP outside Scotland is expected to be twice as likely to face legal action this year as they were seven years ago.
A survey of 600 GPs also revealed that 88% said they are more likely to be sued now than they were five years ago.
More than one in three (35%) had received a claim for clinical negligence during their medical career, and 14% in the past two years – compared with 2.5% who had complaints 11 to 15 years ago.
Dr Rob Hendry, medical director at the MPS, said: ‘Unfortunately, GPs are more likely to be sued now than ever before.
‘Worryingly, over a typical career, the average full-time GP could now expect to receive two claims against them if our recent experience is indicative of the continuing future environment for claims against GPs.’
The MPS highlighted the risks posed to doctors by the threat of lawsuits. Dr Hendry said: ‘Being sued can have a significant impact on the health of doctors, with 86% of GP survey respondents stating that their involvement in a claim impacted on their morale and 74% feeling it impacted on their confidence.’
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