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Medical Defence Union. NHS faces compensation time bomb as clinical negligence liabilities almost double says MDU. 2016. (accessed 15 August 2016)

NHS Litigation Authority. 2016. (accessed 15 August 2016)

Symon A Plus ça change… Problems with memory, and the importance of documentation (again). British Journal of Midwifery. 2016; 24:(3)222-3

Summer reading: The NHS Litigation Authority Annual Report

02 September 2016
Volume 24 · Issue 9

Readers in England will be aware of the role of the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), the body which manages litigation on behalf of the NHS in England. In Scotland, the equivalent is the Clinical Negligence and Other Risks Indemnity Scheme (CNORIS), and in Wales there is the Welsh Risk Pool. While NHSLA covers the whole of the work of the NHS in England, its recent annual report highlighted some areas of interest for midwives.

The estimated financial liability for litigation in the NHS was reported to have almost doubled in the last year. In March 2015, total provision for claims was put at £28.6 billion; in March 2016, the estimated total was £56.4 billion. The chief executive of the Medical Defence Union (MDU) was reported as saying that the NHSLA's published figures represented ‘a compensation crisis’:

‘The NHS is sitting on a time bomb of future claims and legal reform is the only way to address it and to keep money within the NHS for treatment of patients.’

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