NHS ‘paid £10m in clinical negligence compensation for superbugs last year’

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Posted 08/11/2011

Sums totalling £10 million were paid out by the NHS to patients in clinical negligence compensations after they contracted superbugs during their time in hospital.According to The Sun, this fee could have paid for 600 full-time cleaners to be employed at facilities all over the UK at ?15,000 a year each.Joyce Robins of campaign group Patient Concern stated that the ?10 million figure agreed in clinical negligence settlements represents money being thrown down the drain by the NHS.She said: “Perhaps we need an accounts system that shows, hospital by hospital, whether big damages are associated with low cleaning bills. Then the message might get through.”But Health Minister Simon Burns argued that over the course of the last year, MRSA and C. difficile cases were reduced by 29 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.Trefine Maynard, a clinical negligence partner at Ashtons Legal comments: “The danger represented by the so-called ‘superbugs’ has been well known for years. Despite this, and despite the acknowledgment that systemic and thorough basic hygiene can reduce the risks of these to the barest minimum, it is clear that many patients continue to suffer the devastating effects of these infections. At the very least, these lead to extended illness and distress but all too often the result can be catastrophic. The amount of the reported payment out reflects the number and the extent of avoidable injuries that can and should have been avoided. There can be no-one who would not wish the money were more effectively spent to prevent injury in the first place.”If you’ve suffered an injury as the result of clinical negligence, the team at Ashtons Legal will be happy to advise you on whether you have a claim.


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