New data reveals NHS pays through the nose for negligence

Industry news roundup: week ended 14 Jan 2013:

Botched surgical procedures have led to massive personal injury compensation payouts by the NHS for medical negligence over the years, new research reveals.

Newly published data by the NHS has revealed that negligent surgeons, GPs, and other medical professionals have bungled the care of so many Brits that the NHS Litigation Authority has shelled out £1.7 billion in damages over the last fourteen years. NHS staff have been making so many errors that eight new patients are either left with an amputated limb, impaired or lost vision, or with brain damage every week – a chilling figure indeed if you have a hospital visit scheduled for sometime in the immediate future!

Since 1998, more than 800 individuals have brought personal injury claims against the National Health Service for blindness alone, official figures reveal. Not only hat but there were 1,500 compensation claims for the loss of a leg or an arm, while a shocking 2,860 have made claims in the wake of being treated so negligently that the end result was brain damage.

The 2010-2011 financial year saw in excess of £30 million being awarded to victims of medical negligence, according to the newly released figures. That year, there were 56 claims involving blindness, 134 amputation cases, and 215 brain damage incidents with a combined litigation value of £18 million, all of which poured out of the pockets of the NHS Litigation Authority in order to pay for the long-term care needs of those left without sight, limb, or reasoning ability.

However, the massive lawsuit bill wasn’t all related to instances of medical negligence. In fact there was a very small proportion of accident claims that involved slips and trips or falls that occurred on hospital grounds, but the lion’s share of compensation payouts went to those poor patients that had the bad luck to have an incompetent medical professional providing them care.

A NHS Litigation Authority spokesperson commented on the new – and rather chilling figures – remarking hat for the most part the NHS was excellent at providing safe environments for their patients. However, in the event that mistakes were made, any patients injured in such incidents had an ironclad right to compensation, the spokesperson added.

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