Staffs

Millions paid to families of patients killed by botched NHS hospital care

hosi deaths1Hidden within the depths of the NHS is a body called the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) which has the rather sad job of dishing out billions of pounds to patients who have been the victims of negligent care while in hospital.
From a journalistic point of view the NHSLA is very useful in that it keeps records of how people are maimed or killed by the NHS, where it took place and how much compensation they were paid as recompense for their sub-standard treatment.
The NHSLA has a massive system that it uses for categorising the cause and the effect of the poor care that a patient received, and it would be hoped that this is used in future to help stop repeats of such incidents.
At the extreme end of the scale as far as consequences of poor care are concerned is when the patient dies because of a hospital botch up. Perversely a death does not tend to lead to the biggest compensation payouts – these are paid to the poor people who have been disabled in some way by NHS negligence and need constant care to keep them going.
But the figures relating the deaths are still revealing in that the trend is for more families to claim compensation on behalf of their relatives and the main cause is a fatal delay in treatment or diagnosis. What is interesting is the trusts where the most fatality claims have been made in recent years. It is no surprise that those trusts that have been at the centre of the biggest care scandals are those that have made the most payouts, with the troubled Mid Staffordshire Trust at the top of the list.
The following table shows the number of fatality claims and the value of those payouts to patients for claims paid in the last seven years.
1. Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust              123        £2,922,500.00
2. University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust        78          £3,987,918.03
3. The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust             71          £4,362,299.07
4. Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust (The)            70          £3,966,475.51
5. Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (The)             66         £4,336,787.47
6. Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust        63          £4,955,792.38
7. United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust               62         £4,047,860.33
8. Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust          60          £3,881,454.53
9. Uni Hosps Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust 55          £3,622,651.39
10. Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust             54         £4,436,612.18
I’ve put the full response with all the reasons for the payouts here [FoI response]. It just seems a shame that the NHS doesn’t use these legal cases as an early warning sign of when things are clearly going wrong.

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