Medical negligence cost Doncaster NHS Trust over £4m in last year
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It comes after NHS Resolution, which handles medical negligence claims on behalf of NHS Trusts, revealed that negligence payments had risen by 9.9 per cent from 2021/22 to 2022/23.
The trust, which operates the Doncaster Royal Infirmary, dealt with 81 medical negligence claims from July 2022 to June 2023.
The total sum of compensation paid out as a result of medical negligence claims, irrespective of the date the claim was submitted, amounted to £4,083,573.79.
The figure dwarfed compensation amounts paid out by other South Yorkshire NHS trusts.
For example, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust paid out £41,750 whilst Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust paid out £13,500.
However, the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust ultimately paid out one of the highest amounts compared to South Yorkshire NHS trusts, with medical negligence claims costing the trust £4,487,289.
Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare professional provides substandard care to a patient that falls below the standard expected of any healthcare professional.
A claim may arise if the patient subsequently suffers unnecessary or avoidable harm.
Nick Banks, Head of Medical Negligence at JF Law (which owns the Accident Claims Advice brand), warned that the consequences of medical negligence can be “devastating”.
He said: “As well as the obvious emotional impact, injuries and bereavements can cause a bigger financial impact than many households can bear, particularly in the current cost of living crisis, when many are already struggling to make ends meet.
“Whilst some people understandably worry that making a claim will affect front line care, the reality is that hospitals and GPs are always insured against such claims.
“As such, any damages owed are paid by the insurers, and do not affect the care other patients are receiving.”
Dr Nick Mallaband, Acting Executive Medical Director at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “Whilst the claims we received, and pay out, are broadly in line with organisations of our size, we are currently undertaking a review of how we respond to clinical negligence, and, as a result maximise learning from incidents and minimise their occurrence.”
The Trust added that comparing it with RDASH and Sheffield Children’s Hospital isn’t right, as neither are acute providers that provide general hospital services, and aren’t comparable in size.
A fair comparison would be Rotherham Hospital, Barnsley Hospital and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. Essentially anywhere that does maternity care, as it is here where the largest cost for negligence claims come from.
*Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of Yorkshire’s leading acute trusts, serving a population of more than 420,000 across South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and the surrounding areas.
Hosting three main hospital sites and a number of additional services, the Trust is one of only five Teaching Hospitals in Yorkshire and by 2023 is projecting to train 25 per cent of all medical students in the region, while it currently trains 30 per cent of all other healthcare professional students.
A modern and forward-facing Trust employing over 6,000 members of staff, the hospital provides a full range of local hospital services across the following sites: