London, United Kingdom
VIJAY SHAH via LUKE ACTON/Ilford Recorder
According to data released by the UK’s public health agency, the National Health Service (NHS) recently, the Service’s trusts in the east of London have had to pay out millions of pounds to patients claiming compensation for misdiagnoses, delays in diagnoses or failures by their medical staff to give diagnoses at all, said a recent report by a local newspaper, the Ilford Recorder.
The biggest payout among NHS trusts in east London was by the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT), which compensated eighteen patients who registered complaints in 2018. BHRUT’s total payout was more than GBP £8.9 million (USD $11.5 million), which was ranked the seventh-highest compensation delivery in all of England.
Magda Smith, BHRUT chief medical officer responded to the figures by stating in the Ilford Recorder: “The safety of our patients is our highest priority,’
‘We treat hundreds of thousands of patients every year and do everything possible to provide the very best care to every patient.
‘Sadly, on occasion, things can go wrong and we are extremely sorry when this happens”
BHRUT have a staff policy in place whereby faults in medical care are encouraged to be reported, including incidents and near-misses in order to safeguard their patients and ensure safety standards are adhered to throughout the trust’s hospitals and clinics.
The second largest in east London for payouts was Barts Health, which covers the boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets. Barts paid out GBP £6.7 million (USD $8.7 million) over the same year across twenty claims. A trust spokesman said: “We are one of the busiest trusts in the country, seeing more than 6,500 patients every day, as such we would expect to receive more claims.
“We continue to learn from claims to improve the care we provide to our patients.”
Nationally, the NHS processed a total of GBP £370 million (USD $478.4 million) of compensation for 1,441 cases relating to wrongful, failed or delayed diagnosis, placing a great strain on both the service and the wider public sector.
Specialist solicitor and NHS legal expert Vince Shore, a head of clinical negligence at the Hudgell Solicitors firm in London, told the Recorder: “[Cases] range from the relatively trivial things like missed fractures, to the saddest cases which can result in a loss of life, such as missed cancer cases,”.
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“Medical mistakes cost east London trusts millions last year, NHS data shows” – Luke Acton, Ilford Recorder/Archant Community Media Ltd. (28 November 2019) https://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/health/misdiagnosis-numbers-from-april-2018-barts-and-bhrut-1-6397915