NHS reveals steady increase in medical negligence payments

Medical negligence payments for missed blood clots paid out by the NHS have been rising steadily over the past five years, according to figures recently released by the NHS Litigation Authority.

A combined total of £112 million in personal injury compensation for medical negligence has been paid out across the UK by NHS Trusts, the report indicated.  This is due to medical staff throughout the country failing to screen for blood clots adequately or neglecting to prescribe proper medications to manage the condition.

If the proper screening procedures were put in place, medical negligence accident claims experts have stated that approximately 10,000 lives could be saved on a yearly basis on hospital wards.  Former Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson stated that all patients admitted to UK hospitals should be screened for blood clots.

£26 million in injury claims compensation was paid out to patients for blood-clot related injuries that both could and should have been avoided in 2010, said the survey.  This represents a £5 million increase on 2005 figures, the NHS Litigation Authority reported.

One thrombosis charity called ‘LifeBlood’ recently made the suggestion that payments could end up being more than £250 million over ten years by 2015.  Profesor Beverly Hunt, Lifeblood Medical Director, stated that the condition, while preventable, has a devastating cost to human life not just in the UK but abroad as well.

LifeBlood-conducted research findings indicated that only 68.4 per cent of patients were screened for blood clots in UK hospitals during the second half of 2010.  This is despite an official guideline that states the screening target is 90 per cent – which means that a possible 1.16 million cases of blood clots could have been completely missed by UK medical staff.

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