MDDUS welcomes swift implementation of new discount rate

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: Thursday, 17 May 2018

MDDUS has welcomed measures to ensure a new discount rate is implemented swiftly, following the latest reading of the Civil Liability Bill in the House of Lords.

Concerns had been expressed that the review of the discount rate would be further delayed by relying on evidence from an expert panel conducting the first review, when there was enough evidence to set that rate as soon as possible. However, Lord Keen, representing the Government said that he would reflect on the need for the panel to be involved in the first setting, paving the way for an earlier rate to be set.

This key aspect of discount rate reform formed part of MDDUS’ five key messages for the government to address on the issue to help ease wider pressures on the healthcare system.

At the House of Lords debate this week, proposals to reform how the discount rate is set were discussed as part of the committee stage of the Civil Liability Bill.

MDDUS senior lawyer and practice development manager Joanna Jervis said:

“We welcome Lord Keen’s agreement to reflect on our argument that the expert panel need not be involved in the first rate review on the basis that it will remain involved in all subsequent rate reviews.

“This would enable a new rate to be implemented much more quickly following royal assent, thereby reducing, as Lord Sharkey put it, ‘real and irreversible financial damage to the NHS’.”

Read MDDUS’ key messages for the government to address on discount rate reform here.

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

Note to editors

MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) is a medical and dental defence organisation providing access to professional indemnity and expert medico- and dento-legal advice for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals throughout the UK. For further information on MDDUS go to www.mddus.com.