Thursday, 27 April 2017

NHS negligence claims - the facts, not the fiction please

More than two years ago this headline appeared in Press TV whoever they are 

Originally sourced here 

This story has re-appeared in the last few weeks, because now, we are being told that the amount currently set aside has doubled. OK, money set aside for things, I kind of get that, the prudent among us set a little aside for a rainy day. But, HALF your total income ? I think not, I don't care how much rain falls on my roof ! Let's investigate shall we ?

First thing I wanted to know is WHO are the people who 'manage claims against the NHS' ? The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA)  Here's what they say on their site. Always go straight to the horses mouth folks, so you know where you stand, don't take other folks words for it 

Now, guys and gals, read the next paragraph properly and remember it. I'll be referring back to it in due course 

Now, this site is very useful because it's here we get to see their accounts. I'm concentrating for the moment on the 2011/12 report

That's £180 for Mr Walker and slightly less for Mr Fothergill.

In March 2012 the NHS 'global liabilities' (rainy day money) was said to be in excess of £18 billion 

 Not sure if the press picked up on this in 2012 but in 2013

And, who's to blame for this avalanche of claims ? Take your pick folks, but don't forget the contribution Jeremy Hunt makes with his new law

It's all very complicated folks and I've no intention of making myself ill working it all out. So I'll make it as simple as I can for now. Firstly, here's a breakdown of  who gets how much in legal fees according to the NHSLA's latest figures

The claimants appear to get the lions share with their lawyers a close second. Not sure why the claimant's lawyers get so much in comparison to the defendant's (the NHS) lawyers but I'm sure someone will tell me why they claim more ?

 But, let's hear from the other side for a moment shall we ? This is actually a very good read because, apparently the fault lies with the the NHSLA themselves, for daring to defend claims and basically dragging things out. 

We've heard this line before haven't we guys and gals ?

Now, doesn't the NHSLA continually maintain that it keeps costs down by settling 96% of these claims 'out of court' and 'cost effectively' ? 

You see, as complaints grow, more staff are needed to handle these complaints 

As a designated complaints departments or staff tend to deal with the complaints, the NHS spends a lot of money on staffing costs. If only their replies to patients would satisfy the patients’ need to be heard and for their complaint fully investigated, this might be money well spent. Most patients or their relatives just want the truth to come out, their questions answered, and to receive an apology where it is due. They are not after money.

I'm sure that in many instances people complaints don't begin with an intention to get something for nothing. Most folk just want the best care for themselves and their loved ones. They want answers when something goes wrong especially when that something leads to death or long-term harm of either you or that loved one. 

Would I sue a hospital or anyone else the NHS indemnifies if I was left in poor health as a result of a mistake they made ? Damn sure I would,  but I'd be far happier if I didn't have that problem in the first place. 

But, getting back to the money, can someone, anyone, explain just what the following means ? I couldn't find figure 9 by the way 

Discount rate change ? What the hell is that and why is it costing us £25 billion quid ?

So the cost of this PROVISION or rainy day money, appears to have risen from £28 billion to £56 billion in just one year. 

But that's not what's actually being paid out guys and gals. That figure is about £1 billion, no, this is, you know, I don't bloody know what it is but I'm doing the best I can to figure it out. More importantly, I want to know how it's increased so much when the actual number of claims haven't increased that much. You see, it seems to be down to the government again folks. Our fucking useless, uncaring, bastard tory government. Read on

Then I looked at the NHSLA figures (page 107 of the latest report folks) 

 That's me done for now folks - have a good look at the facts and the figures and tell me what you come up with. 

One thing I'm sure of, this is being handled very badly. But let's not blame the poor sods who, in my opinion, deserve to be financially compensated if their health is seriously affected by medical mistakes. Remember what the NHS is there for. It's there to look after you, not kill or maim you isn't it ! Funny how these negligence claims have shot up since the cuts were implemented. Tired, overworked people make mistakes.


  1. Friend of Prince (standing)27 April 2017 at 10:49

    Brilliant! Well said, superb blog - very depressing figures - onwards.

  2. Be interesting to know exactly how much is paid out, for what & to whom rather than this projected sum. I mean, that's what it's saying isn't it ? The increase is due to projected rises in inflation ? If I sound like I don't know what I'm talking about, it's because I don't. I'll sit down again now LOL ;-)

  3. Rabbit, this is a very good blog-post, and I think that you underestimate yourself when you say that you don't know what you are talking about. The Tories have an ideological crusade against the NHS.

    If you trace it back to its roots, the ideology is from ideologues like Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, and Grover Norquist who notoriously remarked:

    "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub. "

    Some links:

    1. Thanks Tdf I think the tories have an ideological crusade against anything that involves spending money on anyone but themselves !! LOL

  4. Once again �� researched the topic and put it over very well.
    I have been watching confessions of a junior doctor, I see tired and overworked staff. Staff who work long hours will make mistakes. Accidents will happen, yes some will need compensation to enable a normal lifestyle. Others jump on the trendy bandwagon.
    The tory government said, when we govern, no front line service cuts along with many other lies. I've seen a few figures bounced around on SM. This I think is a good and well researched article that is filled with fact and proof.
    I'm going to share it.

    1. Thank you Julie I really appreciate your support here and on twitter x

    2. Friend of Prince (standing)28 April 2017 at 05:28

      Well said Julie - brilliant research as always.