Hundreds of millions of pounds is expected to be awarded to settle claims of clinical negligence made against the NHS, new figures have revealed.
According to data obtained by the Guardian, the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) has set aside some £235.4 million for compensation payments to people left with life-changing injuries due to errors made at their birth.
The body - which granted total negligence compensation of £863 million in 2010-11 - indicated this money will be awarded to 60 claimants, with £69.3 million of the total budget having already being awarded in 19 cases.
Therefore, the NHSLA is expecting to grant another £166.1 million in the 41 outstanding cases, all of which are based on the allegation that nurses failed to notice newborns had low blood sugar levels, resulting in them suffering either brain damage or Erb's palsy.
Peter Walsh, chief executive of patient safety group Action Against Medical Accidents, said: "Whilst these cases are relatively small in number, the fact the effects are so catastrophic and they are so preventable should make them a 'never' event in the NHS."
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Posted by Francesca Witney