Fraudulent whiplash claims are said to be costing NHS £38 million a year
Evidence that supports the notion that most GPs see patients suspected of fabricating, or worse still, wholly inventing a fake whiplash injury so as to pursue a personal injury claim on a monthly basis has been recently presented by a leading insurance company here in the UK. And the subsequent bill involving this duplicity which the NHS typically foots is rumoured to be around £38 million annually according to recent reports.
A ludicrous figure which the insurer goes on to compare to the projected costs of funding an additional 1,600 nurses alone.
The insurer has gathered data which purports to nearly 50% of GPs admitting that they’ve been contacted by personal injury claims firms or accident management companies waiting on medical reports during the first three months of 2016.
The study undertaken by the insurance policy provider has unearthed information that concludes on average a staggering 1 in 5 GPs routinely report up to 8 cases a month which they are of the opinion are somewhat dubious, which in terms of a doctor’s time amounts to nearly 40 minutes wasted each month.
But the time-wasting doesn’t end there, as GPs are then inundated by a seemingly never-ending stream of follow-up phone calls from fee-chasing personal injury claims solicitors and assorted claims management companies all eager to further the suspicious cause of their client/the doctor’s patient.
Ultimately GPs are duty-bound to provide further information and medical reports with direct regards to patients who present injuries at a surgery.
Announcing the results of their study, the head of the insurance provider responsible for the revealing study explained that; “GPs are stretched enough as it is and their time wasted seeing suspicious injuries distracts them from seeing genuine patients, but even more time is wasted by law firms and claims companies pestering them for paperwork.”
Of course in recent months the government has proclaimed that it intends to complete an extensive overhaul of the existing compensation pay-out claims sector which will impact those people (especially in the area of fraudulent whiplash claims) who attempt to hoodwink insurance companies, news which has been broadly welcomed by the insurance industry and the ramifications of which will potentially see the often needless pressure and time-consumption lifted from both GPs and the NHS (in terms of financial strain).
If any further proof was needed that fraudulent activity was at play in certain cases, statistics released which depict road traffic accidents in Britain between 2005 and 2013 reported that such instances had fallen by one third, yet despite this – and covering the same passage of time – whiplash (and related injuries) rose by 62%.