01 September 2011
The NHS and the cost of claims: Paul Sankey asks who is to blame?
According to the NHS Litigation Authority claims against the NHS for negligent care causing injury have increased by 30% over the past year with 9,000 patients making claims. Not all of these are successful. The cost to the NHS of making good its mistakes was £863 million. The increase in claims is somewhat surprising given that the level of claims has remained at much the same level for a decade.
Although the organisation has suggested that easier funding of claims has led to increased cost for the NHS the real problem is negligent medical care causing injury. A decent society should make sure that innocent victims of avoidable errors who are injured have some form of redress. Where they have suffered financial loss it is important to make good that loss. When a car knocks a pedestrian down on the pavement no one blames the pedestrian. So when the NHS makes mistakes why pin the blame on the patient?
What the report in fact shows is the need for better practice within the NHS to prevent avoidable mistakes. In the meantime the need for specialist expertise to help the victims of medical negligence is ever greater.Paul Sankey is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.