Scarborough’s trust highest in UK for fail to diagnose payout

Scarborough Hospital

More damages have been paid out by Scarborough’s NHS trust for diagnosis failures and delays than any other UK trust.

A staggering £4,738,612 has been paid in damages alone for 16 cases of failure in diagnosis and delayed diagnosis in 2016/17.

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals in Scarborough, Bridlington and York, topped the national list for the amount of damages paid out for this category.

Last month, The Scarborough News revealed that the trust had paid out more than £46m for medical negligence claims over the past five years.

The most recent figures, following a Freedom of Information request by specialist solicitors Bolt Burdon Kemp, show that of the £12,121,944 paid out in the financial year 2016/17 more than £4.7m was due do diagnosis failures and delays.

Although the trust falls below average for the number of successful cases with 16 compared to 18.4.

Misdiagnosis claims tend to fall into two categories – those where a doctor fails to spot an injury, illness or condition, or spots it too late, which is called a failure to diagnose or a delayed diagnosis, and those where a different illness is diagnosed, which is called a wrong diagnosis.

Analysis of the figures shows that the number of successful claims for failed or delayed diagnosis is far higher than those for wrong diagnosis.

And while the number of wrong diagnosis claims made in 2016/2017 was lower than five years ago, the number of failed or delayed diagnosis claims has been on an upward trend since 2011/2012.

The trust has paid out more than St. Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, in Merseyside, which placed second with £4.5million.

And Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, in Greater Manchester, which came third having paid out £3.5m.

Neighbouring Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust placed within the top 10 having paid out £2,170,590.72 to 35 claims.

A spokesperson for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “Safe, compassionate care is our upmost priority. When things go wrong, as regrettably they do in all healthcare settings, our first responsibility is to those affected. As is the case for other NHS trusts, we have indemnity through NHS Resolution which covers the cost of paying out for a successful clinical negligence claim. We work closely with NHS Resolution and the wider NHS to actively learn lessons from serious incidents, complaints and claims of clinical negligence.

“The Trust settles claims relating to a wide variety of incidents and the value of damages is person specific as it relates to their personal loss – and therefore is not comparative. Claims can also take a number of years to reach a settlement.The number of individual claims successfully settled against the Trust is lower than the average number of successful claims settled by other NHS Trusts for failed or delayed diagnosis.”

The bill for all types of medical negligence claims in England has risen four-fold in 10 years to £1.6 billion in 2016/17.

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