Dr Chris Godeseth, MPS medical risk manager, said: 'In MPS's experience, GPs are now more likely to be sued than ever before.
'As well as an increase in the number of claims, we have also seen an increase in the severity of claims against GPs. For cases involving catastrophic injury, such as brain damage arising from a missed diagnosis of meningitis, a few years ago these were being settled for around £3.5 million, but now it's not uncommon to see such cases settled in excess of £6 million.
'It's important that GPs have an understanding of the current claims climate, but the challenge of course is not being thrown off your game or adopting a 'defensive' approach. There are a number of practical steps that GPs and their practices can take to avoid the risk of receiving a claim or complaint, such as ensuring prescribing and test result systems are robust, and being open and honest with patients when things go wrong.'