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Fife faces huge medical negligence compensation bill

Posted in: Birth Injury Criminal Injury and Assault Medical Negligence NHS Claims Workplace Injuries 

Fife’s NHS has recently been bombarded with a flood of medical negligence claims that could see them having to pay out £17million in compensation. Recent figures revealed that 77 claimants are currently seeking compensation for medical negligence, with one claiming over a birth defect. Furthering this, they also face a further 31 cases of liability lodged by NHS members of staff, seven of whom are claiming for alleged assaults by patients.

Critics have raised the point that NHS Fife’s recent flood of claims is the continuation of a pattern recognised across the country’s health boards. It is believed that the trend has come as the result of cutbacks and staff shortages in hospitals.

Failure to obtain consent from patients

A source with senior experience in NHS Fife, however, defended the work carried out by hospital staff:

“NHS staff by and large are pretty conscientious, hard-working people, and they are only human — things can and do go wrong — but given the sheer numbers of procedures carried out it’s relatively rare.”

The list of cases, released under a Freedom of Information request, disclosed that six of the cases involved injury caused during surgical procedure and a further ten involved a failure to obtain consent from patients. Ten claims related to a failure to diagnose, four related to medication errors, seven related to a delay in treatment, and four were due to x-ray failings.

The health secretary announced last week that £7m had been granted to help the Fife bed-blocking crisis.

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