Medical negligence in NHS institutions in Wales resulted in £38million being paid in compensation during a 12 month period.
BBC Wales – who obtained the figures under a Freedom of Information Request – report that this figure is almost double what it was just three years ago, when settlements totalled £19million. Six of the seven NHS health boards contacted in Wales responded to the request.
Out of these six, all but one (Powys Teaching Health Board) had seen the number of claims made against them rise. In total, the six health boards settled 483 claims between April 2011 and April 2012. This resulted in a total of £38,208,082 medical negligence compensation being paid.
A majority of claims were settled during 2011/12 by the Betsi Cadwaladr health board. They settled 221 claims during this period, for a total of £13,640,034 compensation.
The rise in the amount of compensation being paid is being explained by some as down to the change in the way cerebral palsy cases are settled. Children left with cerebral palsy due to negligence during childbirth, previously received all their compensation in one lump sum. Now cases are settled with a smaller lump sum upfront, coupled with annual payments for the rest of the claimants’ life.