A Worcestershire politician is urging hospital patients to “think twice” before chasing low-level compensation claims, but also for the NHS to accept liability more readily when significant mistakes are made.
UKIP MEP James Carver is calling for an end to the blame culture following reports that medical negligence claims cost Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust £46 million in the last five years
He said: “I’m not saying there shouldn’t be any claims – many are warranted and necessary in order that patients let down during medical procedures and treatments at least have the financial wherewithal to live their lives as best as possible.
“But medical staff are not gods and sometimes, despite best intentions, outcomes are not always those which were desired. Whilst all NHS staff must be accountable, it’s not right they should work in a climate of fear of compensation claims being enacted and that millions of pounds are being diverted from frontline health care in Worcestershire.”
Mr Carver, UKIP’s assistant deputy leader, who represents the West Midlands, added: “I support calls for the capping of fees for low value cases and urge people to consider how necessary their claim is and whether that money would be better channelled into caring for others who are sick and injured.
“At the same time, when things do go dreadfully wrong, the NHS should more readily admit liability for the benefit of those affected and to reduce the vast legal fees it faces when it loses.”
Nationally, clinical lawsuits cost the NHS nearly £1.6 billion in 2016 – a four-fold increase over 10 years. The National Audit Office believes costs could be as high as £3 billion by 2020, despite no evidence that more mistakes are being made, as more claims are made, higher fees charged and higher damages paid out.
Medical negligence cost Hospitals Trust Â£46 million in the last five years
MEDICAL blunders in Worcestershire have cost the NHS more than Â£46 million in the past five years.