Increasing NHS legal costs will absorb extra £2bn

The cash injection of £2 billion for the NHS, which was announced in the Autumn Statement, will be instantly wiped out due to a sharp rise in litigation costs that are totalling to £3 billion.

The Department for Health admitted that the NHS has ‘potential liabilities’ of £26.1 billion, of which £25.7 billion is a result of clinical negligence. This is an increase of £3.1 billion annually.

Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, said the increased liabilities showed that the Coalition was failing to manage the health service.

“These figures provide indisputable proof that the NHS is heading seriously downhill,” he said. “Patient care is suffering following David Cameron’s decision to axe thousands of nursing jobs. The NHS is now setting aside soaring amounts for negligence claims. Labour will invest £2.5 billion extra a year in the NHS to pay for 20,000 more nurses.”

This diminishes hopes that arose following George Osborne’s announcement of extra funding.

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