Search

Hospital trust runs up £80m medical blunder bill

PUBLISHED: 09:08 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:08 16 January 2018

Queen's and King George Hospital are both run by the trust. Picture credit: Archant.

Queen's and King George Hospital are both run by the trust. Picture credit: Archant.

Archant

Medical failings stretching back more than two decades cost the NHS trust running Queen’s Hospital millions of pounds a year.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust shelled out nearly £80 million to victims of blunders over the past five years – the tenth highest payout of all NHS trusts.

Research by the Romford Recorder, in partnership with the BBC, found medical negligence claims cost the NHS a whopping £6.2 billion between 2012 and 2017, a third of which went on legal fees.

Experts warn pressures on the health service will only increase as lawsuits eat away at public funds.

The health service’s negligence claims bill has quadrupled in 10 years to £1.6bn in 2016-17, with a Public Accounts Committee inquiry warning in November it risks “spiralling out of control without effective action”.

The government is proposing a cap on the fees claimants can recover in low-value cases, a move Peter Walsh of Action Against Medical Accidents says “will make it impossible for some would-be claimants to find a solicitor prepared to take on the case”.

Figures from NHS Litigation Authority, which deals with claims for NHS trusts, show the trust’s payout pot was £19.4m in 2016-17, up £6.2m from the previous year.

Damages amounted to £12.9m of this sum, with £1.1m in defence costs and £5.4m in claimant costs.

Incidents that occurred before April 1995, which the Department of Health pays for under its Existing Liabilities Scheme, racked up a further bill for nearly £865,000 from 2012-13 to the last financial year.

The bill for historical errors is made up completely from hospital mistakes during childbirth.

“We treat hundreds of thousands of patients every year and while we do our utmost to provide the best possible quality of care to every patient, on some occasions, things can go wrong,” said the trust’s chief nurse, Kathryn Halford.

“We understand this has an impact on the patient and their family, and we are extremely sorry when we do not live up to our own high standards of care.”

The trust has increased the number of midwives in the maternity department and incident reporting across its hospitals, as well as introducing weekly patient safety meetings and roles such as maternity support worker, she added.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “Our relentless drive to improve patient safety [...] will help to reduce traumatic and costly safety failings in the NHS and ensure better protection for patients.

“We’re ensuring taxpayers’ money is spent effectively by taking action against law firms creaming off excessive legal costs that dwarf the damages recovered – but we’re also clear we want to ensure patients continue to access justice at a reasonable cost.”

Rising life expectancy and a “change to the court discount rate” had increased costs resulting from historic claims, said an NHS Resolution spokesman.

“From April 1, this changed and NHS Resolution is now involved right from the start in order to improve the support for families and the healthcare staff involved in these rare but tragic incidents and to speed up resolution,” he added.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

The team behind the running of a Grade II listed building is appealing for more volunteers to get involved.

Havering Council is set to agree a 3.78pc increase in next year’s Council Tax rates at a meeting tonight (Wednesday, February 20).

Yesterday, 18:30

The London Fire Brigade was called to help cut two men out of their cars following a car accident in Romford earlier today (Tuesday, February 20).

Yesterday, 17:00

A Titanic enthusiastic that built a model of the ship, has loaned his creation to a museum as it is due to hold an exhibition on the British passenger liner.

Yesterday, 15:00

Growing up in a house where it is tradition to watch a horror film almost every Saturday night, I naturally have a love for all things dark and twisted.

Yesterday, 13:50

KFC has announced more store closures after delivery problems meant that it ran out of chicken.

Yesterday, 12:00

In a bid to increase child literacy, Hornchurch and Upminster MP Julia Lopez is calling for a daily 10 minute storytelling slot to make reading with children routine.

Yesterday, 10:00

Young children and their families were invited to a special event for half-term at the Bedfords Park Visitor Centre.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now