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Our three main NHS hospital Trusts paid out more than £17 million in negligence claims last year
Across the UK it's estimated the total amount paid out in 2011 will be between £780 million to £845 million.
A Heart investigation also found that the NHS Litigation Authority have seen claim numbers rise by a quarter in 2010, 11% in 2009 and a further 10% in 2008.
NHS Trusts payments for Negligence in 2009/2010
Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust - £3,673,182
Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust - £10,915,698
Basingstoke and North Hampshire Foundation Trust - £2,798,405
TOTAL = £17,387,285
The figures don't show when the litigation proceedings started but only when the Trusts paid out, so there could be more cases already in the system.
For more information: http://www.nhsla.com/home.htm
How do our hospitals feel about it?
A spokesperson for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said:
"Any error is greatly regretted and the safety of our patients always has been and remains our top priority. However, these figures should be considered in the context that the Trust operates one of the busiest district general hospitals in the country, dealing with a wide range of often highly complex clinical conditions.
Annually, over one million people pass through our doors. Each year we deliver almost 6,000 babies, receive over 3,800 emergency admissions and perform in excess of 2,400 operations.
It is also important to point out that the figures, which are in line with other Trusts of a similar size, represent cases which occurred over a number of years but reached settlement during 2009-10."
A spokesperson for Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals, said:
"The overwhelming majority of the tens of thousands of people treated by the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals every year experience high quality, safe and effective care and we are always working to further reduce risk in our hospitals. However, even with safety of patients at the forefront of our care, in healthcare things can go wrong which may have a big impact on people’s lives.
Most claims against the Trust are small, but a few will relate to larger payments. These can involve provision for future lifelong care. For example, one claim that the ORH settled last year which dated back to 1999 accounts for £7.1million. This money will be paid in stages throughout the patient’s lifetime.
The amount spent settling clinical negligence claims in 2009/10 does not reflect the number of new claims being made in this period, but rather the amount of compensation paid in claims that were settled during this period. The length of time it takes to settle individual cases can vary considerably, and in 2009/10 a number of historical claims were settled.
“The Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust consists of three hospitals and is one of the biggest NHS Trusts in the country. Any error is regrettable and we always strive to provide the best and safest care possible.
The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) represents all NHS trusts which pay an insurance premium to them. NHS Trusts do not directly pay the compensation."
A spokesperson for Basingstoke and North Hampshire Foundation Trust, said:
"Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust is committed to providing
patients, visitors and staff with high quality services and a safe environment. While every effort is made to provide this, like in any busy Foundation Trust, we regret there are rare occasions when these standards are not met. The Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust cares for a community of over 300,000 people covering a local area of 500 miles. Our services include maternity, cardiology, as well as an emergency department which serves more than 44,000 patients per year. The Foundation Trust regularly monitors and assesses our services via a number of internal and external methods.
The quoted figures are in line with those across the NHS for a Foundation Trust offering our level of services. It is important to note that the figures only represent when claims were settled and not when they were filed, so claims from several years ago may be resolved in a single year. However, the Foundation Trust remains committed to improving the quality of care we provide, putting patient safety first."