A recent Freedom of Information request has revealed that the NHS Fife is facing a total of £17 million in negligence claims, including some from its own staff.
On the 17th December 2014, the health board were faced with 116 active cases, 31 of which are being lodged by its own staff members. 77 patients put in claims for medical negligence, including one for birth defects allegedly caused by the procedure, 2 where foreign bodies were left inside patients after the operations, and 6 were for injury or damage caused during surgical procedures. In total 20 claims were for failure to diagnose or a delay in diagnosis, and failure to obtain informed consent. A further 7 were for failure/delay in treatment. The majority of the claimants were women, with 7 cases in fact dealing specifically with maternity issues: 3 claims were lodged for failure to respond to abnormal foetal heart rate, 2 for problems encountered with forceps delivery, 1 each for birth defects and failure to adequately monitor the first stage of labour.
NHS Fife staff lodged 31 claims, 7 of which were seeking compensation after claiming to be assaulted by patients. There were also claims submitted for industrial deafness, burn/scald injury, needlestick injury, exposure to dust and breach of human rights. There were another 8 public liability claims, They were for failure to respond to a Data Protection Act request, slipping/tripping/falling on the same level, manual handling and being struck by a moving/falling object.
A spokesperson for NHS Fife said, “When a claim is submitted, each case is thoroughly investigated before a decision is reached. There is often a delay between the alleged incident and the eventual settlement.
“As such, the stated figure of £17 million accounts for outstanding claims made across a number of years. It is also important to note that not all claims submitted led to a settlement.”
Regardless of which claims have been, or will be settled, this is a worryingly large figure for the NHS Fife, particularly when it is taken into account that 31 of these claims are from their own staff members.
We work with victims of medical negligence from all over the United Kingdom, so if you feel that you have a claim please call us on 0116 254 7456 or contact us via the contact form.