The rising value of litigation is threatening the monetary well being of the NHS in England, auditors are warning.
The Nationwide Audit Workplace says the invoice for medical negligence has quadrupled within the final 10 years, reaching almost £1.6bn final yr.
It’s urging the federal government to do extra to curb the prices.
However ministers say they’re taking steps, mentioning strikes have been made to restrict lawyer charges in addition to a swifter decision for delivery accidents.
The latter tends to draw the very best damages awards due to the lifelong care that’s wanted within the worst instances.
However the NAO stated on their very own these measures would nonetheless not be sufficient.
It stated some trusts have been already spending four% of their revenue on medical negligence, which was proving an excessive amount of.
And it stated this might grow to be the norm – with annual prices anticipated to prime £3bn by 2020-21.
It pointed on the market was no proof extra errors have been being made or care was getting much less protected.
As an alternative, the NAO stated the rising prices have been associated to larger damages awards, larger lawyer charges and extra claims.
NAO head Amyas Morse stated litigation was a “vital” value putting strain on an “already stretched system”.
And Niall Dickson of the NHS Confederation stated: “We can’t go on like this. This rising tide of litigation is draining the NHS of assets and have to be urgently addressed.”
A Division of Well being spokesman stated the steps being taken would assist.
However he added “there’s nonetheless extra to do”, including a brand new technique can be developed sooner or later.
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