According to a recent report The Department of Health has revealed that medical negligence cases in Northern Ireland cost £21.9m last year including legal costs. The figures show that around £60,000 a day is paid out due to medical negligence in Northern Ireland.
The figures also show that Obstetrics related cases accounted for 60% (£95.9m) of the total compensation amount paid.
These figures are based on statistics collected from Health & Social Care (HSC) Trusts, Agencies and Legacy Health and Social Services (HSS) Boards on all clinical and social care negligence cases in Northern Ireland.
A breakdown of the £21.9m compensation figure paid on all clinical and social care negligence cases in 2020/2021 showed that, over two thirds (£15.2m) was paid in damages, £4.2m was paid in plaintiff costs and £2.5m in defense costs. Almost 50% of all the cases were related to four medical specialties alone- obstetrics (628), accident & emergency (577), neurology (333) and ‘general surgery’ (328).
The numbers also show that a total of £152.4 million has been paid to date on the 3,872 clinical and social care negligence cases which were open during the year under review.
Although the amount paid on clinical and social care negligence cases decreased by £6.7m in the last five years from the previous figure of £28.5m in 2016 and 2017, the number of cases open at any stage throughout 2020/21 was 225 more than that in 2016/17. Additionally, as against the average length of time of 2.6years which cases stayed open five years ago, recent cases have remained open for a slightly longer time of 2.9years.
Understanding Clinical Negligence
Clinical negligence also known as medical negligence can be defined as a breach of duty of care in discharging duties, by health and social care professionals.
In other words, when medical professionals fail in their responsibility of care to their patients as required by acceptable standards of medical practice leading to avoidable injury, harm, trauma and complications, this can be termed as clinical negligence. Upon acceptance of liability by the Hospital Trust, a compensation fee is paid to the claimant or victim of the negligent treatment.
What Forms Do Clinical Negligence Take?
Negligence in medical practice can take different forms which include-
- Making a wrong diagnosis, late diagnosis or a completely missed diagnosis
- Failing to carry out proper tests before making a diagnosis
- Failing to recommend further confirmatory tests or refer to a specialist for expert medical attention
- Unnecessary delays in commencing treatment
- Wrong treatment
- Surgical errors
- Prescription or drug administration errors
- Failing to talk with the patient or relatives and get an informed consent before carrying out some procedures
Consequences of clinical negligence include avoidable pain, injury, psychological trauma, complications, prolonged recovery, avoidable financial losses, impact on quality of life, reduced life span and in very serious conditions death of the individual.
It is therefore important that you should seek legal help from trusted medical negligence solicitors to help you take appropriate legal actions and see that you get justice for the wrong done to you.
What We Do To Help
Our medical negligence solicitors are specialists who have many years of experience having helped several over the years to claim deserving NHS compensation amounts for their clinical negligence claims. We pride ourselves in our track record of success, friendly, empathetic and professional approach of our solicitors to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.
We understand that our clients are passing through a difficult time and so we make sure that the claims process doesn’t constitute an extra burden on them in any way. We go as far as shouldering the responsibility of providing the documents when they cannot access them while offering a free consultation session and best legal advice.
Most of our clinical negligence claims are also handled under our No Win No Fee policy which affords clients the opportunity to make claims and seek justice without any financial risks whatsoever.
You can reach out to us today by dialing our helplines or filling out our Free Claims Assessment Forms and we shall get in touch with you to discuss your claims.