Cases of medical negligence resulted in compensation payouts totalling nearly £36 million last year, according to new figures.
Obtained by the Sunday Sun under the Freedom of Information Act, the statistics show that hospitals in Tyne and Wear, Durham, Northumberland, Teesside, Cumbria and North Yorkshire shelled out a total of £35,660,422 in 2007.
"This is a double failure by NHS trusts. They have a responsibility to care for the sick and to spend taxpayers' money carefully," stated Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance.
He went on to say that by doing harm to patients, NHS trusts are letting down people in the UK.
Meanwhile, a Department of Health spokesman stated that international research has shown UK health care to be as safe as services provided in the US, Australia, New Zealand or Denmark.
According to figures cited last month in the Daily Post, hospital patients in the north of Wales received payouts of over £53 million last year as a result of clinical negligence cases.