GPs face indemnity cost rise because of huge legal fees

GPs may be forced to pay higher contributions for indemnity unless the government takes steps to cut legal fees solicitors charge, the Medical Defence Union warns.

Photograph: JH Lancy
Photograph: JH Lancy

An editorial this week in the Journal, an MDU publication, says that clinical negligence contributions by NHS trusts in England are expected to rise by 80% next year.

A key factor behind the rise is that lawyers are charging huge fees under conditional fees agreements, which can mean they pocket fees several times larger than the value of damages paid to the claimant.

MDU deputy professional services director Dr Matthew Lee said: ‘If this trend continues, it will push contributions up.

Anything that pushes up the cost of claims will ultimately push up contributions.’

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