Welsh claim news

Health boards show increases in medical negligence claims

A Freedom of Information Act request by BBC Wales has led to six of Wales's seven health boards providing figures relating to medical negligence compensation claim payouts in the 12 months leading up to April 2012.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board did not offer any figures, but a spokesperson said it was collating statistics.

Of those health boards which replied to the FOI request, the Betsi Cadwaladr health board settled the largest number of clinical negligence claims in the period – 221 in total with a claim cost of £13,640,034.

All but one of the Welsh health boards saw an increase in the number of settled claims from the previous two year periods. However, the Powys Teaching Health Board, which saw five or fewer than five claims settled per year from 2009/10 to 2011/12 saw the largest increase in in settlement costs rising from just £131,485 2009/10 to £6,449,222 in 20011/12.

A spokesperson for Powys Teaching health board pointed out that this was a result of "a single historical case dating to before the formation of the health board".

Darren Miller AM, Welsh Conservative health spokesperson, said "We've got an NHS that's facing mounting financial pressure. There's a big jump in the number of cases and the amount paid out which means there must be something wrong with the system."

He added that he felt the number of medical negligence claims could be increasing as "staff are finding it difficult to do their jobs because of financial pressure".


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