Health trust “saddened” by £5m medical negligence claims

Rotherham HospitalRotherham Hospital
Rotherham Hospital
A HEALTH trust has said it is “saddened and disappointed” after new data revealed medical negligence claims cost the organisation nearly £5m in a year.

Research by AccidentClaimsAdvice.org.uk found Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust paid £4,487,289 in medical negligence claims in the last year.

The trust, which operates Rotherham Hospital, dealt with 56 medical negligence claims from July 2022 to July 2023, according to the personal injury claim website.

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However, the total figure of £4,487,289 paid out in compensation related to claims made irrespective of this time-frame.

Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare professional provides substandard care to a patient that falls below the standard expected of any healthcare professional.

A claim may arise if the patient subsequently suffers unnecessary or avoidable harm.

Nick Banks, head of medical negligence at JF Law – owner of the Accident Claims Advice brand – warned the consequences of medical negligence can be “devastating”.

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He said: “As well as the obvious emotional impact, injuries and bereavements can cause a bigger financial impact than many households can bear, particularly in the current cost of living crisis, when many are already struggling to make ends meet.

“Whilst some people understandably worry that making a claim will affect front line care, the reality is that hospitals and GPs are always insured against such claims.

“As such, any damages owed are paid by the insurers, and do not affect the care other patients are receiving.”

The data follows NHS Resolution – which handles medical negligence claims on behalf of NHS Trusts – revealing negligence payments had risen nationally by nearly a tenth (9.9 per cent) from 2021/22 to 2022/23.

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Angela Wendzicha, director of corporate affairs at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Whilst we always strive to deliver a high standard of care to all our patients, we are saddened and disappointed when we do not achieve this, and we do occasionally receive claims for compensation.

“From April 2022 until March 2023, we dealt with 61 formal claims and settled a number of historical cases.

“As a learning organisation we use each case as an opportunity to understand, learn and make improvements wherever possible.”