Medical negligence payments made in the 2010-2011 financial year soared, according to the NHS Litigation Authority, with legal experts making the suggestion that the number of personal injury compensation cases in which medical negligence played a part during that period of time has risen by a substantial margin.
£98 million was paid to victims of medical negligence last year, the Litigation Authority’s figures reported, which was found to be nearly double of the £56 million paid out to individuals suffering from undiagnosed or misdiagnosed illnesses in the 2009-2010 financial year – an increase of £42 million in just one year. The number of successful misdiagnosis cases have also increased by 80 per cent over the past half decade, according to related statistics, as there were only 681 successful compensation claims in 2006-2007 at a cost of £50 million; last year saw a total of 1,204 cases successfully brought against the NHS by personal injury solicitor firms.
Out of these more than twelve hundred successful cases, 10 per cent were found to originate from misdiagnosing cancer. The largest compensation award due to one of these mistakes stood at £959,000.
One Department of Health spokesperson commented on the new figures, remarking that there is no place for unsafe care in the NHS. While the lion’s share of people seen by NHS-managed staff receive safe, effective, and good quality care, it’s only right that patients that are left worse off due to mistakes made by NHS staff be given the right to seek compensation for their pain and suffering.
In related news, the General Medical Council recently announced it was appointing a total of 15 new regional officers in order to aid in cracking down on medical negligence occurring within the UK.