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NHS faces increase in medical negligence compensation claims

The amount of medical negligence compensation paid out to people whose illnesses were not spotted or were detected too late has increased from £56 million in 2009-10 to more than £98 million in 2010-11.

Figures have revealed that nearly one in ten compensation cases against the NHS came about as a result of a failure to diagnose cancer.

The results have come from a Freedom of Information Request following the announcement that the General Medical Council has appointed new regional officers to help crack down on medical negligence in the UK.

In the last five years the number of claims made has increased by nearly 80% from 681 in 2006-07 to 1,204 in 2011.

The largest misdiagnosis payout since 2006 was for £4.1m and there have been another eight cases resulting in damages of more than £2m. These cases tend to involve patients who have been left with severe personal injuries and require extensive long-term care.

The biggest medical negligence compensation sum paid out for failure to diagnose cancer was £959,000, with a further 12 annual payments of £300,000.


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