Tuesday, 28 Mar 2023

NHS hands out £30.8m in compensation to patients

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

In total £30.8 million – an average of £110,000 each – was awarded to 281 patients in 2021 after staff failed to spot the tell-tale signs of their critical illness.

The number of claims increased by 33 percent compared to the previous year.

Over the last three years 709 people have won their cases for a failure by medical staff to diagnose their cancer, resulting in total compensation payments of £83 million.

The figures mean that in an average week, NHS hospitals are making more than four potentially fatal cancer diagnosis blunders when staff miss key opportunities to spot signs of the killer disease.

Patients can sue for negligence if medics have misinterpreted medical data such as scan results, biopsies or blood tests. But cases can also be brought where an important delay was made in making the crucial diagnosis due to administrative mistakes or general hospital delays.

The figures, which were released under the Freedom of Information Act by NHS Resolution, show in some years the biggest payments to patients whose cancer was misdiagnosed were in excess of £1million.

It also revealed that over the last three years there were 4,777 cases in which delayed diagnosis or failure to make a diagnosis of any type of illness led to a compensation payout.

These settlements are also on the increase and across the last three years have cost the NHS £711 million in damages.

In 2018 a report found that 17,000 Brits are dying needlessly from cancer each year because of delays in getting a diagnosis.

Research shows that a delay of just one month decreases survival by an average of 10 percent.

Peter Walsh, Chief Executive, of Action Against Medical Accidents, said: “Misdiagnosis or late diagnosis is one of the biggest problems with things going wrong and causing harm in the NHS today, and doesn’t get the attention it deserves.”

“The sharp increase in cases related to cancer comes as no surprise, as NHS services were so disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, the scale of this problem could be much higher, as it takes some time for these cases to come to light.”

The news follows last week’s announcement by the NHS Resolution that it has set aside £1.3 billion this year to cover compensation claims arising from poor care during the pandemic with experts warning of a dramatic increase in claims for treatment delays, cancellations and misdiagnosis because of covid restrictions.

The sum is more than double the previous year, and its report states the “main driver” of the increase “is the indirect impacts of Covid-19 of delays, cancellations and misdiagnosis reflecting longer waiting lists”.

Since April, England and Wales have experienced more than 28,000 excess deaths unrelated to Covid, with heart problems, diabetes and cancer deaths rising significantly.

Experts believe that many of these deaths have occurred because people were not diagnosed or treated promptly as the NHS effectively itself in 2020 from treating conditions other than Covid.

An NHS spokesperson said: “The NHS is continuing to invest millions in the latest diagnostic equipment, including new CDCs, and it is incredibly rare for cancers to be missed – in 2021/22 alone more than 317,000 people started cancer treatment, with ten times that number receiving a diagnostic tests to check for cancer.

“But it is important to do all we can to catch cancer and that is why NHS trusts have rigorous measures in place for reporting, investigating and learning from every single case, to do everything possible to minimise the chances of mistakes being repeated.”

Source: Read Full Article

Related Posts