Have medical negligence claims increased over the years?

Medical negligence occurs when you’ve received medical care from a professional that has fallen short of the standards of competence expected. In this situation, you can make a medical negligence claim where you attempt to prove that the professional behaved incompetently. If you win, you can gain compensation. But with this process in place, have medical negligence claims increased over the years?

The increase

Medical negligence cases are currently rising at an average of 11.5 per cent per year. And the number of claims themselves are expected to rise significantly by 2023. The structure of the claims is important though. While the number of claims is rising significantly, fewer claims are making it to trial. This is because the NHS is now working closely with the justice system to improve patient safety. And doctors are factoring medical negligence into their decision making more and more. On top of this, once a claim is made, the NHS are taking more time to assess their options and avoid the possibility of going to trial.

Pay-out for the NHS

The price the NHS had to pay out for medical negligence has been significant over the last few years. Even though the pay-out decreased by 1.5 per cent from 2019 to 2020, it still totalled £2359.9 million. With the number of claims rising though, there are real concerns that the NHS will soon be subjected to a financial burden that it won’t be equipped to deal with. The cost of training one doctor for the NHS is £230,000 and there are worries that settling negligence cases will come at the cost of producing junior doctors.

2019/20 fall

The total value of medical negligence cases that the NHS had to pay did fall in 2019/20 though. This can be attributed to the success of the NHS’s Resolution strategy. The strategy set out to improve mediation and to try and cut out the difficult cost of extensive legal fees. Another reason is that the Personal Injury Discount Rate was cut from 0.75% to 0.25%. This helped protect the NHS during claims and allowed them to save £114.6 million in 2019/20 alone.

Ultimately, medical negligence claims are on the rise of the years. If you’ve received hospital negligence, there’s a chance that you could make a successful claim with the help of legal professionals.

Huynh Nguyen

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