NHS pays out £30 million in claims over past 15 years

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THE NHS has paid out £30 million over 15 years thanks to blunders at Eastbourne DGH and Conquest Hospital.

Nine separate claims against East Sussex Healthcare Trust, which runs the two hospitals, were settled to the tune of £30 million, according to figures released under Freedom of Information. The NHS Trust was accountable for the 10th largest payout in the country in the 15-year period.

A Trust spokesperson said, “We regret the occurrence of any incident that gives rise to a claim or complaint by a patient and the distress they cause all the individuals involved.

“However, these payments are not a reflection of the level of safety or quality of services within individual Trusts.”

He argued it should be seen in the context that the Trust deals with 315,000 outpatients, 120,000 A&E attendances and 90,000 inpatients every year.

The payments were made by the NHS Litigation Authority, which acts on behalf of all NHS Trusts.

In 2007 a High Court judge awarded costs, likely to be in the millions, to three-year-old Jacob Antoniades. Jacob suffered catastrophic brain injuries when he was born at the DGH, leading to cerebral palsy.

In a similar case in 2004, cerebral palsy sufferer Ricky Corrigan was awarded £1.6 million in damages. His mother claimed DGH staff had been negligent in failing to accelerate Ricky’s birth.

A national newspaper’s investigations revealed Trusts across the country made 748 payouts in 15 years, totalling £2.4 billion.