Hospitals in the south-west have been forced to make over £17million in medical negligence compensation claim payouts over the past year.
The NHS has faced a huge rise in the numbers of claims being made against them in recent months, and this is particularly apparent in the counties of Devon and Cornwall.
Last year 224 claims for compensation were made against Devon and Cornwall NHS authorities, whilst the year before this figure was only 139.
The Derriford Hospital paid out the highest amount to patients claiming for negligence in 2008/2009, with a figure of over £5million.
A spokesperson for the hospital made the argument that as one of the biggest hospitals in the country – treating around 800,000 patients every year that these figures aren’t necessarily damaging to their reputation.
They said: “It doesn’t mean we are among the worst in the country, it means we are among the biggest and as we treat more patients we may receive more litigation claims.”
The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust paid out the second highest amount of medical negligence compensation to patients in the two counties, at more than £3million.