NHS facing rise in number of clinical negligence claims7th February 2012
A report by the Public Accounts Committee has said the health service may have to pay out £15.7 billion to settle clinical negligence claims brought against it.
This amount, which is equal to one seventh of the NHS budget for a year, has gone up by more than 10% in a year.
The group of MPs said the Treasury had failed to "have a grip on trends" on compensation claims and how they could address the costs.
The Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) report for 2009/10 said the Treasury was "surprised" to find out that £10.9 billion of unpaid tax had been "written off" by HM Revenue & Customs in a year.
"Claims for clinical negligence outstanding at 31 March 2010 could cost £15.7 billion, or 15% of the government’s total provision for future expenses arising from events that have happened in the past," the report warned.
"The Treasury … did not know that clinical claims recorded by the NHS Litigation Authority had increased by some 31% in 2010/11 or what plans were in place to reduce liabilities for clinical negligence."
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: "The vast majority of the millions of people treated by the NHS every year experience good quality, safe and effective care."
"However, if patients do not receive the treatment they should, and mistakes are made, it is right that they are entitled to compensation and the NHS Litigation Authority plays a vital role in ensuring claims are settled as swiftly as possible."
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Title: NHS facing rise in number of clinical negligence claims
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 20996
Date Added: 7th Feb 2012