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PS360m is bill for NHS blunders; local trusts' payout over 5 years.

Byline: PAUL BRITTON newsdesk@men-news.co.uk @MENNEWSDESK

HOSPITAL trusts in Greater Manchester have paid out more than PS360m in negligence claims to patients and relatives for medical blunders in the last five years.

Pennine Acute NHS Trust alone paid out PS84,328,280 between 2012 and 2017 - by far the highest of any health trust in the Greater Manchester region.

The trust, which runs North Manchester General Hospital, the Royal Oldham, Fairfield in Bury and Rochdale Infirmary, is ranked ninth in a top 10 of NHS trusts to have paid out the most over the period, analysis of statistics by the BBC's data unit shows. The total figure covering 14 hospital trusts in Greater Manchester stands at PS369,316,426, with almost PS75m paid out over the last financial year alone.

Hospital failings during childbirth account for more than two-thirds of that cost with the national picture showing that in 2016/17 alone, maternity and neonatal care represented around 10 per cent of all overall claims in England, but 50 per cent of their monetary value.

In the past five years, the figures show the Department of Health has paid out PS152m, including legal fees, to victims of mistakes made before April 1995 in England.

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust comes second in the table in Greater Manchester - paying out PS66,957,506 over the same five-year period.

Elsewhere over the five-year-period, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust paid out PS51,925,572; Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, formerly Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, paid out PS34,970,056, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust paid out PS32,317,567; University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (PS28,549,382); Stockport NHS Foundation Trust (PS27,922,386); Bolton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (PS25,145,577); North West Ambulance NHS Trust (PS8,507,262); Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust (PS3,456,731); The Christie NHS Foundation Trust (PS1,759,137); Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust (PS1,307,237); Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust (PS864,819); Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (PS748,832) and Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (PS556,082).

Analysis of two types of data is covered. The Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts is for incidents that occurred after April 1995 and the Existing Liabilities Scheme is for those that happened before April 1995.

The figures come from NHS Resolution, formally the NHS Litigation Authority, which handles claims on behalf of all NHS trusts, and show that trusts are still paying out for mistakes dating back more than two decades.

The figures quoted relate to total payouts for all mistakes pre and post-1995 and include damages paid as well as defence costs and claimant costs from court cases.

Nationally, the data shows that NHS trusts in England paid out almost PS1.8bn in medical negligence claims over the last financial year, an increase of PS218.7m, or 15 per cent, from almost PS1.5bn paid during 2015/16.

Larger trusts will often have bigger damages bills, because of the volume of patients they see. Trusts can also be liable for lifelong dependency care. Trusts which went through splits, mergers or other major changes have been treated as separate bodies.

Peter Walsh, chief executive of Action Against Medical Accidents, said: "One complication is we don't know the extent of the damage that has been caused until many years after the incident takes place. It is impossible to make a prognosis straight after the birth to know the full extent of the injuries.

"We have seen claims that have taken over 10 years to resolve. Things have improved, but not enough has been done to speed up the process."

Paul Downes, director of patient safety at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "The Trust has had a new leadership team in place since April 2016 to provide direction and support and since then many improvements have been made to make our services better. Improving patient safety across all our care organisations is at the heart of what we do, so that Pennine Acute becomes one of the best and safest NHS Trusts in the country."
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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 26, 2018
Words:698
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