Employees of the NHS make nearly £20 million worth in work accident claims every year, according to a new freedom of information request made by the Daily Mail newspaper.
The newspaper reported that personal injury claims against the NHS by staff members have grown by nearly one third over the past five years. In 2011 alone the NHS Litigation Authority saw 3,200 compensation claims, a marked increase from 2005-2006 figures, which amounted to only 2,535 claims.
Among the claims that were successful was one where a nurse had slipped on a ward floor on a piece of discarded potato, earning nearly £4,000 for the injuries she sustained in the incident. Another staff member received £5,750 from the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust after he fell over and injured himself when a metal wall bracket caught his trouser bottoms, sending him to the floor and causing his injuries.
Another accident claim made by a Blackpool Teaching Hospitals hospital porter saw the man receiving £3,400 for a whiplash-type injury sustained from pushing a trolley, while £10,000 was paid to an employee of the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust who twisted their ankle badly after tripping on a step. The freedom of information request prompted the Tax Payers Alliance to comment, with a spokesperson stating that while some payments made to employees suffering accidents at work may be unavoidable, more must be done to manage NHS facilities in a more proper manner.
The spokesperson urged health chiefs to take steps to keep these cases to a minimum in the future.