Some of the highest personal injury compensation payouts were awarded for patients who suffered either failure or delay to diagnosis or treatment, inadequate care, additional operations, unnecessary suffering and in one instance death.
Over the past five years, 332 personal injury claims for clinical negligence have been filed against the trust. As of the end of 2011, 69 of these were still being investigated and 99 had been closed with no compensation paid. The remaining 163 cases cost the trust a total of £7.13 million in compensation.
Although confidentiality agreements prevent the NHS Litigation Authority from identifying individual patients, it did reveal that 21 cases resulted in compensation payouts of between £100,000 and £600,000.
Negligent practices at the former St Mary’s Hospital in Milton were responsible for some of the highest payouts made in recent years. These involved children who were left disabled due to mistakes made by maternity staff during their birth.
The family of one girl who contracted cerebral palsy were awarded £5.3 million to cover her lifetime care and another won £8.75 million after a girl was left without oxygen whilst still in the womb.
A medical negligence solicitor from Blake Lapthorn explained that all to often NHS trusts believe they can win clinical negligence cases and so they allow the case to proceed to court. They only settle out of court if they believe a judge will rule against them.