NHS Face Huge Costs for Surge in Clinical Negligence Claims

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Precision Claims reacts to a report by the Daily Telegraph which claims the NHS is facing bills of £15.75 billion as it estimates the costs of clinical negligence cases in future years.

The National Health Service could face bills of £15.75 billion to settle an increasing number of clinical negligence claims in future years. According to the Daily Telegraph the figure reserved for legal cases is equivalent to one seventh of the health service’s annual budget and has increased by 10 per cent in just one year.

The money has been signed off to pay for the care in future years of thousands of patients who may suffer due to clinical negligence accidents in hospitals across England and Wales.

The Telegraph found reports earlier this year which claimed the amount of money paid to those who were wrongfully diagnosed in the UK soared between 2010 and 2011, with more than 8,500 clinical negligence claims received by the NHS. The NHS Litigation Authority revealed the amount of compensation given to those whose illnesses were not spotted until it was too late increased to £98 million last year, up £42 million from 2009-2010.

According to the article a large proportion of the clinical negligence bill is the result of errors which have left babies brain damaged – an area which is costs the NHS dearly as advances in medicine mean these children live longer, costing the health service more.

Simon Thompson, managing director at claims specialists Precision Claims, commented on the significant compensation bill from the NHS stating, “While the vast majority of people treated by the NHS experience safe and effective care, the rising number of cases are a clear concern for the healthcare system and unsafe care will not be tolerated.

“We ourselves have seen a steady rise in clinical negligence cases, especially for victims whose illness was failed to be identified. If patients do not receive the treatment they should, or mistakes are made, then the patient is entitled to compensation.”

Since the report was revealed by The Telegraph, the NHS Litigation Authority has reiterated its role in ensuring all cases are settled as quickly as possible. The General Medical Council has also appointed fifteen new regional officers to help tackle negligence within hospitals in England and Wales.

Precision Claims offer legal advice and support for victims of clinical negligence. For more information about making a claim visit the company’s clinical negligence page at http://www.precisionclaims.co.uk/services/clinical-negligence, or call 0844 704 1945.

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