One of the UK’s leading military hospitals has been receiving an increasing number of complaints about medical negligence since the beginning of 2009.
The Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham is home to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine. Since 2009, thirteen claims for personal injury compensation have been lodged against the military hospital even though it has won awards for its work in the past.
The hospital provides specialist care to soldiers who have been injured whilst serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, soldiers feel that the doctors in acute care units are not as experienced as GPs when it comes to providing the day-to-day care they need when they’re recuperating.
Philippa Tuckman, a clinical negligence specialist, said that acute care at the military hospital is very good, but newly qualified military GPs have not had the opportunity to get enough experience to equip them to handle the full range of cases they need to deal with.
There have been instances of misdiagnosis and servicemen suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Diagnosis have been sent back to fight in Afghanistan. The GPs in the Birmingham unit have overlooked the psychiatric problems that service personnel suffer when engaged in active service.
The MoD refused to comment on the personal injury claims, but a spokesman for the department explained that there was a fund to settle claims from those injured on duty.
Scott Garthley, an ex-serviceman from Northampton, sued the MoD for £2.8 million medical negligence compensation in 2008. At the time he claimed he was not offered vital care and he had to pay private hospital bills totalling more than £60,000 to get the care he needed.