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Keep up to date with the latest news, research and activity in patient safety

 

Negligence legal costs can be three times as much as compensation

Legal costs in some lower-value medical negligence claims can be double or even triple the amount of compensation paid to patients. 

Figures in the Medical Defence Union’s (MDU’s) annual report for 2021 reveal the average sum paid in claimants’ legal costs on medical claims settled for up to £10,000 was in excess of £18,500. 

For claims settled between £10,000 and £25,000, the average was nearly £35,000. 

The not-for-profit indemnifier called on the Government to proceed quickly with the reforms needed to the clinical negligence system to make disproportionate legal costs a thing of the past. 

Its chief executive Dr Matthew Lee said: "Disproportionate legal costs are one of several defects in the current litigation system and particularly affect lower value claims. 

"It cannot be right for legal costs paid to claimants’ lawyers to regularly exceed the damages paid to claimants by double or triple the amount."

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Source: Independent Practitioner Today, 9 August 2022

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Pharmacists warn shortages of drugs putting patients at risk

A shortage of some medicines is putting patients at risk, pharmacists have warned.

A poll of 1,562 UK pharmacists for the Pharmaceutical Journal found more than half (54%) believed patients had been put at risk in the past six months due to shortages.

A number of patients have been facing difficulties accessing some medicines in recent months, sometimes having to go to multiple pharmacies to find their prescription or needing to go back to their GP to be prescribed an alternative.

Since June, the government has issued a number of "medicine supply notifications", which highlight shortages.

Some of these include: pain relief drugs used in childbirth; mouth ulcer medication; migraine treatment; an antihistamine; a drug used by prostate cancer and endomitosis patients; an antipsychotic drug used among bipolar disorder and schizophrenia patients; a type of inhaler and a certain brand of insulin.

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Source Sky News, 11August 2022

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