Compensation payouts from Suffolk and north Essex hospitals top £69m

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The scale of compensation payouts from hospitals in Suffolk and Essex has been revealed – with the amount totalling nearly £70 million in the last three years.

The figures, published by litigation authority NHS Resolution, include the total amount of damages paid for successful claims.

Colchester Hospital had 95 claims costing £25.7m, Ipswich had 88 costing £10.4m whilst West Suffolk recorded 48 claims costing a total of £4.1m.

Brett Dixon, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, said “it is only right that those who have been needlessly injured, suffered life-changing consequences, or died because of the NHS failures are able to seek redress.”

James Paget had the most claims, with 105 payouts being made between 2015 and 2018, totalling £28.7m.

Payouts from the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST), Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) and Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT) result in the bill for the seven major healthcare organisations in the region totalling almost £80m.

Medical negligence claims that concerned childbirth and pregnancy errors resulted in a bill of just under £40m in the same three year period.

Ipswich Hospital gave out one of the largest compensation payments – £6.7m for an 11-year-old girl that was born brain damaged as a result of being starved of oxygen in the womb.

Bosses at the West Suffolk Hospital, EPUT and NSFT said keeping patients safe is their top priority. Every claim is taken seriously, they added – and, when a mistake is made, they are open, admit fault, apologise and strive to learn from what has happened. Representatives for EEAST did not comment.

Michele Benjamin, a Specialist Clinical Negligence Lawyer said: “These shocking figures highlight the extent of malpractice within the health sector. Surely it is within the health trusts best interest to adopt a once and for all strategy to ensure a patient’s experience in Hospital or an ambulance is to the highest possible standard, if not only to avoid the unnecessary burden of the large litigation costs involved. This is extremely worrying that so much money is being pumped into compensating victims instead of focusing on prevention measures to avoid these situations occurring in the first place. The only consolation is that the victims are able to seek redress in an attempt to piece their shattered life back together due to NHS failures.”

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