Published on 09/02/2012
The NHS faces a £15.7bn bill as the number of clinical negligence claims made against it rise by 9 per cent in the last year.
The £15.7bn cost is equivalent to one seventh of the health service’s annual budget. They money has been signed off to pay for the care in future years of tens of thousands of patients who have suffered due to blunders in Britain’s hospitals.
Indeed, new data from the Department of Health show that the number of clinical negligence claims has jumped by 9 per cent since 2010.
In the last year, the government paid out £500m for medical negligence claims.
A substantial part of the spiralling cost is being blamed on “no win, no fee” lawyers who encourage patients to make claims. It is estimated that around a third of the money paid out for clinical negligence claims ends up in lawyers’ pockets.
Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association said: "Once clinical negligence has occurred, many patients say that they don't want to take legal action against the hospital but feel that it is their only form of redress because the complaints system is not sufficiently robust.
"It is scandalous, in the context of the £20bn efficiency savings being forced on the NHS, that so much money is being squandered compensating existing patients. There needs to be a focus on cutting negligent treatment so that money can go on treating new patients."
The news comes after we reported that the government has been forced to create a £185million emergency bailout fund for the NHS for the rise in clinical negligence claims.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: NHS and Hospitals