Health

Insurer Says Compensation Settlements Place an Unsustainable Burden on the NHS

Billions of pounds spent

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Compensation settlements for medical negligence running into billions of pounds are placing an unsustainable burden on the NHS, according to an organisation that insures doctors.

The Medical Defence Union pointed to figures showing a rapid rise in the value of settlements, pushing up liabilities to £16.7bn in 2011.

The MDU chief executive, Christine Tomkins, said it was time to change a system that was introduced in 1948 – the year the NHS was created – and requires compensation to cover the cost of private care for victims of NHS negligence.