Patient safety incidents rise, while claims face increased delays

Recent data released by NHS England shows that serious patient safety incidents, with those resulting in severe harm or death, have risen by 25% on pre-pandemic levels.

Analysis by APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) of NHS England data shows that every year close to 700,000.00 people are harmed in safety incidents in the NHS, but only a tiny percentage of these individuals go on to claim compensation and those that do go on to claim, are faced with long delays and a difficult process.

Unfortunately, like many other areas of the NHS, medical negligence claims are taking a record amount of time to settle and some of those injured victims desperately need support and compensation to help them to rehabilitate and rebuild their lives.

According to APIL the statistics show that only 2% go on to claim and those claimants are now waiting for a record amount of time to receive redress. APIL requested information under The Freedom of Information Act and found that over the past decade there has been a 43% increase in the length of time it takes the National Health Service Resolution (NHSR) to settle medical negligence claims.

This is despite the NHSR’s effort to try to resolve claims more quickly through greater collaboration, it is therefore clear that this collaborative approach is having little effect at present.

Besides the detrimental harm that the delay will have on the victims even the NHSR itself accept the longer cases run for the higher the costs associated with the claim and therefore if the NHSR dealt with these claims quicker the overall cost would also come down.

The statistics found by APIL demonstrate that a typical medical negligence victim is waiting an extra 7 months to see their claim settled when compared to a decade ago. The delays in receiving compensation to help rebuild their lives result in some claimants feeling that they may have to accept the first offer as opposed to a fair offer as the process can take so long.

The findings of APIL are very concerning and disappointing. It was hoped with the new collaborative approach which was instigated during the pandemic, the Covid 19 Clinical Negligence Claims Protocol, that it would help.  Hopefully, this will begin to filter through in due course.

Our specialist medical negligence team support many clients through successful claims against the NHS for serious patient safety incidents. We encourage claimants not to be put off making a claim due to delays in this system and to continue to seek the compensation they deserve with specialist legal support.

If you or your family have been involved in a safety incident while under NHS care, or any other medical negligence, please get in touch with our team to discuss your case.

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