The National Health Service has paid out £20 million to patients who contracted serious infections while in hospital, over the last three year period.
The Mirror newspaper is reporting that last year alone, a record 42,712 people became infected by a superbug while on a hospital ward, which is almost double the previous year’s figure of 22,488.
The figures which were obtained through a freedom of information request, show that payments to victims of the bugs are now four times higher than as little as seven years ago, with the average payout last year amounting to almost £90,000 for each successful claimant.
Superbug infections, picked up by patients in hospitals or other medical environments are recorded as ’nosocomial conditions’ by hospital trusts.
Over recent years there has been several high profile cases involving superbugs, including the case of twenty eight year old James Wollacott, who was awarded £400,000 in damages, after developing MRSA following a knee operation.
In 2008 TV actress Leslie Ash claimed a hospital infection known as MSSA, had left her with spinal injuries, the case against the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, resulted in a settlement of £5 million.
The health workers union UNISON claim that Government cuts are partly to blame for the increase, with the number of nurses and cleaners who are at the forefront of infection control, losing their jobs.