Recent figures show that the NHS has paid out in excess of £22 milion in personal injury compensation to one certain class of patients.
The number of patients who need to be rushed back to hospital after being discharged prematurely and then suffering serious complications is over 500,000 every year, according to the Express.
These re-admissions have led to personal injury claims that have cost the NHS £22.5 million over the past eight years and 235 patients.
It costs approximately £1.6 million annually to treat patients which have been re-admitted. Patient Concern, a support group for patients, criticised the NHS for the high number of re-admittances. Patient Concern remarked that NHS Trusts have been so focused on the reduction of hospital stay length for patients that they have increased the pain and suffering for many through instances of medical negligence.
There are many examples of patients needing re-admittance. One instance includes a Lancashire man being discharged just two hours after his pacemaker fitting. The man needed to be re-admitted just days later due to his contracting the MRSA virus. As a result his pacemaker needed to be removed and then refitted two months afterwards. After filing a personal injury claim, the man was awarded £30,000 in compensation.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has announced his intention to put an end to the epidemic. Mr Lansley is set to introduce new policies which will penalise hospitals for patient re-admittances within a certain timeframe. He stated that the system currently in place, which provides incentives for hospitals to discharge their patients as soon as possible, was instead doing more harm than good.
In related news, a recent survey found that many GPs have been dealing with rising false personal injury claims. Doctors have laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of the so-called ‘compensation culture’ in the UK as the primary factor behind the increase in claims.