What causes Clinical Negligence claims?
11 December 2017 by Rhian Lowe
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers recently asked NHS Resolution to provide data on what causes clinical negligence claims.
The findings show that claims caused by failures and delays in treatment and diagnosis cost the NHS more than any other.
Between 2014/2015 and 2016/2017 the number of successful claims caused by failed/delayed treatment increased by 29%.
As a result of these failures, 2,668 successful claims were closed by the NHS Resolution in 2016/2017.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as though things are getting any better.
Waiting time performance in the NHS has been “deteriorating across the board” according to The Kings Fund.
The number of cancer patients waiting for more than two months for treatment has doubled over the past 7 years, while in A&E the number of people waiting for more than 4 hours has increased by 557% since 2010.
A failure to respond to an abnormal fetal heart rate was also identified as a key cause of a high number of claims. These failures were the cause of 48 successful claims closed by the NHS Resolution in 2016/17 alone. So it isn’t really surprising that the cost of claims on the NHS are increasing.
The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, continues to focus on cutting NHS costs but we feel that more needs to be done in addressing the issues that give rise to negligence claims in the first place.
In order to reduce the number of claims, the government needs to get to the root of the problem and be bolder in addressing known and recurring causes of negligence within the health service.
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