PAY-OUTS totalling nearly £30 million for ‘clinical negligence’ have been handed out by health board chiefs in the last three years.
A total of £28,558,639 has been paid out in North Wales by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) since the 2011-2012 financial year, the Welsh Government’s health minister has revealed.
Overall in Wales, £171 million has been paid by the NHS in Wales to patients and their relatives as a result of ‘clinical negligence’ after patients took medical staff to civil courts in search of compensation
The figures came to light after the Welsh Liberal Democrats raised the issue in the National Assembly. Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat AM for North Wales, said: “£28 million is an eye-watering amount for a health board to be handing out due to mistakes made.
“We all know Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s finances are in a colossal mess. Therefore it is disappointing this huge amount of money will no longer be available to fund frontline care.”
In 2013-14 BCUHB paid out £9,593,651 in ‘clinical negligence’ payments, in 2012-13 they paid out £6,340,836 and in 2011-12 the amount was £12,624,152.
Mr Roberts added: “The Welsh Labour Government needs to look at the root causes triggering these payouts.
“Of course NHS staff work incredibly hard and do a terrific job, but when mistakes are made it’s essential lessons are learned.”
A Welsh Government spokesman said: “On those rare occasions when mistakes are made, individuals are able to seek redress. It is important the health service learns from these mistakes.”
A BCHUB said the health board had seen an increase in the number of claims made in line with national trends.
“We are working hard to reduce such rises in expenditure by ensuring lessons are promptly learned and clinical practices are changed and improved.
“In relation to the level of monies paid out, this is dependent upon the type of claim settled.”