Financial & Legal News

Compensation for Nursing Claims on the Rise

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A record number of medical negligence compensation claims succeeded last year costing the NHS almost £120 million and nursing claims amount to just over £24 million of that bill.

Whilst the majority of medical negligence claims are taken out against doctors and the NHS Trusts, the nursing claims are often for substandard nursing care.  Compensation claims in the last year have been settled for incidents including avoidable pain, amputations, cosmetic disfigurement, broken bones or heart attacks.

The report compiled by a national newspaper states on average 10 compensation awards are being paid to patients every week and that in total 524 such cases were won last year, more than a two-fold increase from just 206 in 2009/10.

It states that the nursing claims form only a small part of the NHS’s overall negligence bill — predicted to rise to £3.2billion a year by 2020.

The data was revealed in a Freedom of Information response by NHS Resolution, which deals with negligence claims.

It outlined successful claims with a primary or secondary cause code of “inadequate nursing care”.

Medical Negligence solicitor, Kenneth Lees, says there could be many reasons for this data:

“The increase in claims could be for any number of reasons, staff shortages and under funding which inevitably leads to an impact on patient safety, but we also see clients who make negligence claims when they have suffered due to inadequate handover elsewhere in the treatment pathway which just lands with the nurses,” he added.

The health service paid out £24.2 million in nurse compensation last year and figures show the average pay out for complications due to poor nursing care was £45,000.

“Nurses are at the frontline of NHS care from admittance to hospital and discharge, right through to working in the community and generally deal successfully with thousands of patients every year, but when something goes wrong patients deserve an explanation,” added Mr Lees.


For advice on medical negligence claims across the NHS call us now and chat to one of our specialist solicitors – 0161 785 3500



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