Costs of compensation claims for clinical negligence are 'spiralling'
- Clinical Negligence
Clinical negligence costs are spiralling out of control according to a new report by the Public Accounts Committee.
The committee said the government was moving too slow and needed to resolve cases quicker; they found cases now take an average of 426 days to resolve compared to 300 days back in 2010/2011.
MPs on the committee said some of these delays were due to the NHS failing to investigate or notify NHS Resolution quickly when a harmful event has occurred.
The stretched efficiency targets, increasing financial pressures on front-line services and patients waiting longer for treatment were also to blame.
Hannah Bottomley, clinical negligence solicitor at Potter Rees Dolan, said:
The new report on the cost of clinical negligence is very encouraging in one sense but deeply troubling in the other. The suggestion that claims are costing the NHS more due to costs being incurred from delays and defending inappropriate claims on the part of the NHS is disappointing as it impacts on Claimants who have suffered injury through medical errors. However, I hope that by recognising the issue a change can start to be made and the NHS will learn from mistakes made in the past.
By encouraging a culture of recognising mistakes early on, legal costs will reduce as claims will settle earlier but I also hope that Trusts will recognise if there are particular areas of concern which can be addressed by further training or a change in policy which will make the whole system safer for all patients.
Hannah Bottomley is a clinical negligence solicitor here at Potter Rees Dolan. Should you have any queries about clinical negligence issues or indeed any other aspect of this article and wish to speak to Hannah or any other member of the team please contact us on 0161 237 5888 or email Hannah directly.