A HEALTH board is currently facing legal claims with a potential value of more than £58m, it has been revealed.
A report to be considered this week by members of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board says that there are currently 682 active claims, a rise of 32 per cent.
Between April 2012, and March this year, 289 new claims were lodged.
The overwhelming majority of the claims – 454 in all – relate to alleged clinical negligence involving adult patients, with 58 involving children.
Personal injury claims by members of staff account for 135 and similar claims by members of the public for 20.
In 2011, the Welsh Government introduced new regulations for the handling of all complaints by NHS bodies with the aim of streamlining the system and methods of providing redress.
In an annual report headed ‘Putting Things Right, Angela Hopkins, director of nursing, midwifery and patient services, says that in the past year 1,732 ‘on the spot’ concerns were raised compared with 755 the previous years and all were resolved within a few days.
A third of them related to delays or cancellation of appointments.
A total of 1,597 formal complaints were received, a rise of 258 or 19%, with 43% relating to clinical treatment such as a failure to diagnose or lack of nursing care.
Five complaints were concluded with settlements totalling £35,000.
In the same period 10,310 compliments were received.
Also in 2012-2013 a total of 86 complaints were taken on by Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, an increase of 12 per cent, and 35 of them were formally investigated.
The recurring themes included documentation, the procedures for sharing information with other relevant parties on a patient’s discharge, the level of family involvement in care planning for mental patients and a lack of information for parents and carers on discharge after major abdominal surgery.
All health boards required to meet financial settlements must pay an excess of £25,000 to the Welsh Risk Pool.