Trusts pay out 25m in health claims throughout Mid-Ulster

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

THE two Health Trusts responsible for providing health and social care provision in Mid-Ulster have paid out almost 25 million due to clinical negligence in the past three years.


The statistics, published by the Department of Health, show that the Northern and Southern Trusts have paid out a combined 24,982,361 on damages and legal costs since the start of the 2014 financial year.


The Northern Trust has paid out 14,163,775 in that time. In 2014/15 the Northern Health and Social Care Trust paid out 4,070,985, in 2015/16 that figure fell to 2,150,284 but in 2016/17 it rose considerably to 7,942,506 - a 95.1 per cent increase on the 2014/15 figure.


The Southern Trust has paid out a total of 10,818,586 in the past three years. In 2014/15 the Southern Trust paid out 6,366,576, in 2015/16 it paid out 2,373,817. In 2016/17 a total of 2,078,193 was paid out - a 67.4 per cent decrease on the 2014/15 total.


Both Trusts are likely to have to pay out considerable sums in the future as well.


As of the 31st March 2017, the Northern Health and Social Care Trust was facing 348 open cases while the Southern Health and Social Care Trust is facing 396 open cases.

 However, in the 2016/17 financial year the Northern Trust closed 83 cases. Of these only 38 (36.1 per cent) cases were closed with payment awarded.

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust had a total of 97 cases closed in the same time period. Only 25 (25.8 per cent) of these cases resulted in a payment being made.

The average clinical/social care negligence case, open in 2016/17, had been open for 2.6 years.

Across Northern Ireland a total of 96,463,280 has been paid out by all Trusts in relation to negligence cases over the past three financial years.

However, the amount paid out nationally has decreased by 31 per cent from a total of 41.4 million in 2014/15 to 28.5 million in 2016/17.

The Department is keen to eliminate all pay outs in the future and its Quality Strategy, Q2020, is focused on supporting the increase in capability/capacity for quality improvement and to engender a culture of quality improvements in which continuous safety improvements will flourish.

Reflecting on these figures a spokesperson for the Northern Trust said: "The focus across the Northern Trust, is at all times, on providing safe and high quality care, and thus eliminating incidents which may give rise to such claims."

Meanwhile, when asked for comment on the figures, a spokesperson for the Southern Trust referred the Courier to the Department of Health's statement.


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