Published: 10/01/2001, Volume 112, No. 5787 Page 8

Nearly£4m was paid out by the Medical Defence Union to compensate patients harmed by GP orthopaedic treatment.The figure covers a 10-year period - only misdiagnosis of malignancies attracted more claims.MDU head of risk management Dr Stephen Green said he wanted to draw GPs'attention to an area 'not thought as presenting a significant risk in primary care'.'The emphasis at the moment is on the improvement in patient care, and data on the kind of things that go wrong in the health service is invaluable if we are to achieve this goal.'He said despite the rising cost of claims there was no evidence of a fall in clinical standards.