Latest reports from the NHS indicate £89 billion is due to be paid for claims. What are the facts?
- The £89 billion quoted relates to compensation which will be paid over many years. Some awards include smaller annual payments instead of one large compensation sum which are paid for more than 60 years in some cases.
- Awards of compensation increased after a review by the Government which sets figures to calculate future expenses for a Claimant.
- Awards are high because patients who are severely injured need a lifetime of care and therapy as well as the high cost of moving to a home which meets their needs.
- Legal costs vary depending how soon admissions are made; if the NHS admit mistakes quickly then costs will be less.
- Mediation can help in some cases but is often costly because medical reports are still needed to prove a case before talks begin.
- You only have to watch John Pilger’s cutting documentary on the plight of the NHS to understand the cost of private intervention. We encourage you to watch it and read this review in the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/nov/28/the-dirty-war-on-the-national-health-service-review-john-pilger-documentary
We all want the NHS to survive but none of our clients want to be told the NHS caused severe injury or the death of a family member. When this does happen, they are entitled to be compensated in the same way as anyone else who has been injured, for example in an accident at work. So, what is the answer?
There is no simple solution. We would welcome your views on our ideas:
- Ensuring only Specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitors handle claims to reduce costs for both sides and unnecessary stress for clients wrongly advised.
- Ensure the NHS avoids making the same medical mistakes. The NHS must learn and stop future avoidable accidents happening.
- Ensure money goes into medical care and limit the high costs of management.
- Openness in the NHS is vital to improve services and prevent medical negligence.
- Improve morale and staff numbers in hospitals.
- The NHS should make early admissions to reduce legal costs
Preventing medical negligence must be the key to reducing costs. We realise claims cannot be eradicated entirely but we see the impact on families injured by the NHS every day. Doctors and nurses go into the profession to help patients. Our clients do not think about compensation when they go into hospital; they just want to be safe.