The amount of compensation paid to people left with surgical equipment inside them after they have undergone surgery has risen dramatically in recent years. At the same time, the number of patients killed as a result of hospital mistakes has also increased by 60 per cent in two years.
Government figures show that the compensation bill for those with equipment left inside them after surgery was £2.2 million in 2007/2008, up from £1.4 million in 2003/2004. This increase has occurred even though the number of incidents has remained constant.
The highest claim was £115,000, for a person with the tip of a needle left inside them. Victims of these types of hospital mistakes receive, on average, £17,900 in compensation. In total, the NHS has paid out £9 million in the past five years to more than 550 patients.
Official figures also show that there were 3,645 deaths as a result of botched operations, infections and other failings in 2007/2008. Two years previously, the figure was 2,275. However, the increase is partly due to improved reporting of these incidents and may not represent an overall decline in the level of care.
The total amount of compensation paid out by the NHS for avoidable deaths was £382 million in the year 2007/2008, up by 18 per cent on the previous year.
If you have suffered as a result of a blunder or misdiagnosis by medical staff, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us now for advice.