Yorkshire region hospitals have recently reported that the number of medical negligence claims that have been occurring have increased by a factor of 10 per cent, resulting in an annual cost of more than £80 million.
Between April of 2009 and March of 2010, regional health bodies in Yorkshire received 1,281 accident claims for medical negligence compensation as a result of clinical errors. The Yorkshire Post newspaper stated that this rising personal injury compensation claim activity represented a 10 per cent increase on the year previous.
More than one quarter of all claims were in relation to poor standards of care to newborns and women either over the course of a pregnancy or during the actual delivery of a child, stated the figures.
Government ministers have been prompted to call for reforms to the current system, due to the rising costs of payments made to medical negligence victims through the NHS Litigation Authority. Critics of the reforms have raised their concerns that those who become the victim of medical negligence will have more difficulties if they attempt to claim compensation from the NHS.
One charity representative from the Action against Medical Accidents stated that there was a high degree of concern regarding the proposed reforms. The spokesperson stated that the alterations would undoubtedly result in saving the NHS money but unfortunately patients who suffered due to medical negligence would be left out in the cold as a result.
One Ministry of Justice spokesperson stated that victims of medical negligence must have proper access to legal representation in order to be compensated adequately by those who were responsible for their injuries.
The spokesperson added that any proposed changes to certain classes of fee arrangement deals between solicitors and clients would be equitable for both claimants and defendants.