Recent reports indicate that the NHS has made more than £10 million in personal injury compensation for patients coming down with hospital infections such as C. difficile and MRSA.
Personal injury solicitor experts writing for the Sun newspaper recently reported that the NHS Litigation Authority handled more than 90 personal injury claims in 2010 alone. The average pay out per claim was found to be around £70,000 for each of these cases, the report found.
NHS funds are just being thrown out the window, said one spokesperson from health service user campaign group Patient Concern. The organisation also said that the message may begin to be heard if low cleaning bills were linked to high compensation costs.
Experienced medical legal professionals say that the large number of personal injury claims were made against the NHS because patients were looking for not only apologies, but also for explanations for how their infections had occurred, and not just for a financial windfall.
Health Minister Simon Burns recently stated that, over the past 12 months, the number of MRSA incidents had declined by a rate of 29 per cent. C. difficile cases likewise had dwindled by a rate of 17 per cent, Mr Burns also said, yet the Health Minister did also state that the NHS was in need of adopting an attitude of zero tolerance in order to avoid infections of these kinds in the future.
In related news, a recent committee in the House of Lords has remarked that rules instituted by the EU are placing patients at unacceptable levels of risks, which could result in the NHS seeing even more compensation cases filed against it by sick and injured patients.