At the rate medical negligence expenses are increasing, The Medical Defense Union states that total sum could cost each taxpayer an astonishing £1,000 a year. Defendants of medical negligence claims called out to end the shocking financial burden that puts the National Health Service on hot water.
The NHS Litigation Authority, a not-for-profit department of NHS which provides security against legal claims towards the NHS, has reported a savings of £25.6bn for known and future claims, backed by an uncertain 18% increase on medical negligence claims from last year to this year. It has been said that claims have inflated from 10,129 in 2012/13 to 11,945 in 2013/14 from personal injury firms turned medical negligence work.
More doctors are being subjected to harsher claims and medico-legal cases at an alarming rate even though evidence of bad clinical standards are not in sight. Doctors turn to Medical Defense Union for support as they are subjected to rising complaints.
The Medical Defense Union, providing security against financial loss to dentists, doctors and other healthcare professionals, continue to ask that the compensation system be changed on fair terms. If the current system is left unreviewed, the MDU will face a crippling crisis in the years to come.
The increase in claims puts on a heavy burden on the Medical Defense Union. Even claims that are brought by lawyers that are poorly investigated cost money to be defended against.
The NHSLA reported that there is an increase in claims that clearly were not negligent due to poor investigation by lawyers who do not specialise in clinical negligence, a complex area of law which deals with misdiagnosis, incorrect and delay in treatment, and injury or death from treatment.
The appeal to change the compensation system for fairer terms wishes to revoke the system under Personal Injury Act 1948, where the law computes the expenses of future care on the basis of the account it will be provided privately. With this, the Medical Defense Union states that taxpayers who are paying compensation should be able to pay health and social care given by the NHS and public bodies.
The Medical Defense Union also requests a report on the facts and figures of future damages on care costs and loss of revenue, thrice the national average salary.
Medical Defense Union Chief Executive, Dr. Christine Tomkins said that the current highest claim paid by an individual on behalf of a surgeon spent is at £9m: current costs of increased rates that will have doubled in an estimate of 7 years.
According to Dr. Tomkins, medical negligence claims inflation seems to be overwhelming, something that obviously affects us all and will cause disservice to us if not addressed sooner.
It is a sensitive subject to address, but standing to their defense, the NHSLA annual report debated that medical negligence was targeting non-specialists with ‘weak claims’.
Catherine Dixon, chief executive of the NHS Litigation Authority revealed the cost figures from 2013 to 2014 showing that 22% of the £1.193bn for medical negligence claims was spent on claimant solicitors and 8% went on defense legal costs.