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Hospital trusts facing pounds 13m negligence bill; Baby injury case alone cost pounds 4.5m.

Byline: CARL BUTLER and DAVID PRICE

HOSPITAL Trusts in North Wales are facing medical negligence claims which well in excess of pounds 13m.

In one case settled last year a compensation package of pounds 4.5m was agreed as a result of a baby being injured at birth.

Two other claims amounted to in excess of pounds 1m each.

The North East Wales Hospital Trust revealed a report showing it could be facing bills for medical negligence of more than pounds 8m.

The report made a forecast of what future cases could cost the Trust, which runs Wrexham Maelor Hospital and ten community and rehabilitation hospitals.

Many of the payouts,including that of the baby,have been pending for several years.

The report showed up to the end of March 31 this year it had 15 cases classed as ``certain'' for pay outs with general damages of over half a million and special damages of more than pounds 1m. Legal costs add a total of pounds 465,000.

It also lists 13 ``probable'' cases which total nearly pounds 900,000 with legal costs. That would bring the total medical negligence bill to just over pounds 3m.

The report however also lists 30 ``possible'' cases where damages and legal costs could add up to a further pounds 5.8m.A further 22 cases have been classified as ``remote'' and add up to pounds 753,000.

Medical negligence claims against the Trust in the first quarter this year total 19, which is well up on the previous quarter when seven new cases were reported.

Six of the 19 claims are from hospital staff but the trust says there are ``no significant trends'' in the claim.

In the same quarter - January to March 2003 - the Trust settled seven negligence claims without making any payments. They were all investigated and found no case to answer and were withdrawn.

Two other health bodies in North Wales, the North West Trust and the Conwy and Denbighshire Trust,also paid out after negligence claims last year.

But they refused to reveal their ``worse case scenario'' speculations. The Conwy and Denbighshire paid out pounds 3.5m. Two claims came to more than pounds 1m each.

And the North West Trust paid out a total of pounds 1.2m, which included personal injury,clinical negligence,legal costs and interest.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 12, 2003
Words:390
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