Discount rate change doesn't go far enough

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: Monday, 15 July 2019

The Lord Chancellor has today announced a change to the discount rate applicable to personal injury lump sum compensation payments to minus 0.25%.

Commenting on the announcement, MDDUS chief executive Chris Kenny said: “We are extremely disappointed as this small increase to the rate set by the Lord Chancellor does not go far enough and will continue to create over-compensation.

“We fully accept that there must be reasonable compensation for patients harmed through clinical negligence, but this needs to be balanced by society’s ability to pay and be fair to claimants and defendants alike. This new rate is likely to encourage more poorly based claims and therefore add to the personal and financial burden on individual clinicians and add cost to the NHS as a whole in the long-term.

“Figures from the NHS Resolution annual report last week reveal that the cost of claims to the NHS continues to rise. The projected £80m saving as a result of this announcement, even if it arises, is a drop in the ocean compared with £2.4billion paid out during 2018/19. This is clearly an enormous strain on the NHS and Government should be focusing on legal reform to drive down these rising costs – something that MDDUS has been campaigning for some time.”

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For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0333 0434444 or 07976 272266, or email rihendry@mddus.com.