In the news… NHS negligence claims hit £1.4bn

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

For the most part the NHS is an admirable organisation that sees around 3 million people every week and carries out more than 10.5 million operations every year. Unfortunately, problems can and do occur.

For the most part the NHS is an admirable organisation that sees around 3 million people every week and carries out more than 10.5 million operations every year. Unfortunately, problems can and do occur.However, figures released in Autumn 2016 show that NHS trusts in England paid out more than £1.4bn in medical negligence claims last year, compared to £583m in 2008.From our experience many of the legal costs associated with medical negligence cases would not arise if the NHS had not been negligent and delayed resolving claims. Many cases should be admitted early, thereby providing genuine claimants with much needed justice and financial recompense.However, we frequently see hard defences being raised in cases that should be admitted. The Society for Clinical Injuries Lawyers (SCIL), of which Madeline Seibert is a member, has discovered through a Freedom of Information Request to the NHSLA that it loses 76% of cases after Court Proceedings are issued. If early admissions of liability had been made in these cases, then the NHS would potentially have saved millions of pounds in the unnecessary legal costs of defending indefensible cases.

The NHSLA is tasked with reducing the need for expensive litigation, and acknowledges that the delivery of safe, compassionate care is the NHS’s number one priority. In response to these figures, it advocates more use of mediation, early transparency in dealing with incidents, saying ‘sorry’, and demonstrating that lessons have been learned that will prevent problems recurring in the future. If this can be achieved, then it will be a very welcome step forwards for patients.

 

Your next step

Our Medical Negligence team are on hand to talk about your healthcare issues and answer your questions. So, if you’d like a confidential discussion, please call us on 0203 468 3340, or you can visit our website attwatersjamesonhill.co.uk and complete our online contact form.

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