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North Cumbrian NHS hospital trust paid nearly £10 million in medical negligence cases over two ...

Source: , Posted On:   18 December 2020

Cumbrian NHS hospital trust paid nearly £10 million in medical negligence cases over two years figures reveal


NEARLY £10m in medical negligence claims have been paid out by an NHS trust, and its predecessors, in two years, figures reveal.

Data, about the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, comes from NHS Resolution, the organisation which handles negligence cases.

In 2019-20 it revealed 31 successful claims against the trust, which runs hospitals in north and west Cumbria, with the bill running to £905,804, plus legal costs of £291,637.

However, this is dwarfed by the £9m paid in damages, on behalf of the trust's two predecessors, for 41 successful cases in 2018-19.

A spokeswoman for the trust said: “Learning from incidents is a high priority for us and as such we have been committed to embedding a learning culture to the organisation.

"We are very sorry when things do not go as we would have liked and we take every effort to ensure steps are taken to make improvements when that happens.

“Many claims for clinical negligence are raised many years after the issue occurred and the trust often deals with claims from previous decades.

"We have been able to introduce safety measures in recent years that prevents incidents occurring wherever possible.”

Overall there were 56 formal negligence claims against the trust in 2019-20, with seven further incidents which could still result in a claim.

Nationally the overall cost of harm for clinical negligence has fallen to £8.3bn last year, down from £9bn in 2018-19.

In a recent report, Ian Dilks, chairman of NHS Resolution, said: "We continue to play our part in reducing the cost of claims through actions to improve patient safety.

"We hope that through reform, a way can be found to significantly reduce the cost to the public purse at no detriment to justice."

Next month the Government is due to publish its review of a consultation on fixed recoverable costs – the amount of money the winning party of a claim can request from the losing party, for claims less than £25,000.

Recoverable legal costs for clinical negligence claims are currently uncapped.

The Medical Defence Union provides support for doctors and other healthcare workers,

Dr Michael Devlin, its head of professional standards and liaison, said: "Every example of negligence takes its toll on the patients and families involved, but the compensation being paid out puts enormous pressure on NHS funding."