Dishonest hospitals 'could pay medical negligence claims out of their own budget'

Hospitals could have to pay part of a medical negligence compensation claim out of their own budgets and may even have their insurance cover revoked if they are not honest about the mistakes they have made, new government proposals have revealed.

The Guardian reports that these proposals were made by Jeremy Hunt on Tuesday November 19th and form part of parliament’s response to the Francis Report into clinical negligence.

Under these proposals, hospitals that conceal information or mislead patients or grieving relatives could have their indemnity cover reduced or even removed entirely, and may have to use their own funds to settle medical negligence claims.

It is thought this initiative could encourage greater standards of transparency and openness within the NHS.

Every year, clinical negligence costs the NHS approximately £2 billion in personal injury claim payments and associated costs. Currently, lawsuits and settlements are handled by the NHS Litigation Authority.

Removing or reducing this indemnity cover in the event of dishonesty would give hospitals a “financial incentive” to be honest about lapses in patient safety, Mr Hunt said.

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