NHS Continues To Pay Out Record Amount To Bereaved Families

NHS Claims Rise
BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam
Legally reviewed by: BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam In: Medical Negligence

Figures have shown that payments from the NHS to families of patients who died due to substandard care came to a total of £75million last year. Figures obtained by the newspaper The Sun on Sunday show that 969 hospital fatalities were settled in the year 2020.

What do the statistics show?

The figures that have been obtained are particularly damning, showing that payouts for unlawful death rose from £45.1million in 2016 to £74.9million in 2020. Successful claims against the NHS in England due to avoidable death have risen 31 percent in five years, while the compensation bill has soared by 66 percent from £45million. The NHS Resolution statistics have revealed that there have been quite a number of errors resulting in patients dying. Included in these cases were:

  • 29 that included a medication blunder
  • 23 where the patient was discharged from hospital too soon
  • 24 where there was a failure to act on abnormal test results
  • 50 where they were given the wrong treatment
  • 261 cases linked to a failure or delay in treating a patient
  • 158 where there was a similar lack or delay in diagnosis

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) produced figures in 2012 that showed that almost 12,000 preventable deaths occur in hospitals every year – more than 30 every day. They calculated that 13 percent of hospital deaths were avoidable as they came from staff mistakes, and the researchers believe that some of the problems have arisen from junior doctors not being overseen sufficiently by experienced consultants.

Making an NHS Claim

As the NHS is such a large organisation, it can seem daunting to think about suing them. However, if you have the right legal support, claiming compensation for the NHS can be an important step for moving on. If you, or a member of your family, has had a bad experience with the NHS that resulted in:

  • Your illness not being diagnosed or treated, causing you to be ill for longer, or
  • It took longer for you to heal from your illness or injury due to a mistake or a misdiagnosis, or
  • You received treatment that caused further avoidable illness or injury, or
  • Unnecessarily long waiting times caused symptoms to worsen,

you may be able to claim compensation. A court cannot:

  • Make a healthcare professional apologise to you
  • Force a hospital or individual healthcare professional to change how they carry out their work
  • Discipline a healthcare professional to change how they work

Despite the fact that they do not have the power to carry out these things, the court can rule that you are owed compensation for:

  • The pain and suffering caused by the avoidable mistakes
  • The payment for any treatment
  • Compensation for the hobbies and activities that the deceased was unable to continue to pursue
  • The loss of earnings
  • The cost of any extra care of equipment that you may need
  • The cost of adapting your home
  • Compensation for psychological damage

A claim can be made for the next of kin of someone who has died or doesn’t have capacity to make their own claim.

Read more on our NHS Negligence Claims page

If a member of your family has been one of those affected in the figures mentioned in this article, then an expert member of AWH Solicitors will be able to provide you with legal assistance.

Get in touch today for an informed chat about your next steps.

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