Today's announcement by the Lord Chancellor that the personal injury discount rate for lump sum compensation payments will be increased to -0.25% is too little too late, the Medical Defence Union (MDU) said today.
Dr Christine Tomkins, MDU chief executive, said:
'Governments have repeatedly promised to protect doctors from the effect of the fall in the personal injury discount rate (PIDR). Today's announcement is disappointing because it still leaves in place much of the dramatic rises in NHS hospital and GP indemnity costs caused by the PIDR reduction more than two years ago.
'The majority of the UK's GPs are faced with substantially increased historic claims. The then Lord Chancellor on 27 February 2017 said:
'The Department of Health will also work closely with general practitioners (GPs) and Medical Defence Organisations to ensure that appropriate funding is available to meet additional costs to GPs, recognising the crucial role they play in the delivery of NHS care.'
'So far, no plans are in place to address appropriate funding for historic liabilities for most UK GPs and the current PIDR of -0.25% is still far less than the 2.5% the PIDR stood at when the previous Lord Chancellor made that announcement. The decrease in the rate since March 2017 has had a grossly inflationary effect on compensation payments.
'The persistence of a negative PIDR along with the failure to implement legal reform to restore balance and fairness to the way compensation is awarded is disappointing and continues to adversely affect UK GPs.'
This guidance was correct at publication 15/07/2019. It is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.