NHS Forced To Set Aside £22bn To Cover Medical Negligence Claims
The NHS has released figures showing that they have put aside £22bn in their forecast to cover the cost of medical negligence claims. This figure equates to nearly 20% of the total annual NHS budget and there are a number of cases that have settled
Glasgow (I-Newswire) August 16, 2013 - The NHS has released figures showing that they have put aside £22bn in their forecast to cover the cost of medical negligence claims. This figure equates to nearly 20% of the total annual NHS budget and there are a number of cases that have settled for £5m. The value of each case is typically determined by the extent of injury or damage caused by the negligence and the age of the patient. Babies and young children that suffer severe brain damage will require considerable levels of care and for a long time so usually attract millions in compensation.
Medical negligence claims have, according to NHS figures, been spiralling out of control in the past few years. High profile cases, including those of abuse and neglect on the part of hospitals and their staff, have been well publicised and these have added considerable requirements for the health service to increase the amount of money that they have to put aside for negligence and litigation claims.
The NHS Litigation Authority team announced that it has set aside £22bn to cover the cost litigation. This represents an increase of 22% when compared to the amount from last year. It also means that the figure has more than double in just five years and it represents one of the organisations largest costs. While some cases may cost thousands, there are a few that can reach and top the £5m mark. The figure is estimated based on the number of cases that the NHS does not believe it will be able to defend.
Medical negligence claims can arise for a number of reasons. Misdiagnosing a patient may be considered negligence on the part of a doctor, although not in all circumstances. The doctor and the surgery must be able to prove that every reasonable and expected effort was taken in order to ensure an appropriate diagnosis was made. Misdiagnosis is the most common of medical negligence claims but it is not the only type. Prescribing incorrect medication, neglect on the part of hospital staff, and even abuse by doctors and healthcare professionals are all forms of medical negligence claims.
It is estimated that there are around 100 cases a year of babies becoming bran damaged due to NHS errors and with the cost of these totalling several million pounds each, these cases make up a large portion of the total litigation bill for the NHS. Improvements in medical science mean that these babies will live a longer life, compared to the outlook they would have suffered just several years ago. This means that compensation figures are higher because the cost of ongoing care can be considerable.
Medical negligence claims are important to those patients that have suffered neglect or negligence at the hands of doctors, nurses, and the NHS. Many patients may suffer severe injuries or illness and this not only means that they are entitled to compensation for their injuries but it also means that they should be entitled to have the costs of treatment and ongoing care met by the litigation claims.
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Published On:August 16, 2013
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