Lincolnshire hospitals pay out £90m on medical negligence claims in five years

Medical negligence claims over the last five years cost NHS trusts in Lincolnshire more than £91 million, data shows.

Figures from NHS Resolution, which handles claims on behalf of NHS trusts, and gathered by the BBC Shared Data Unit, showed £91,652,639.85 was paid by Lincolnshire Community Health Services (LCHS), Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) since 2012.

The majority of this overall cost came from ULHT, which paid out a total of £90,350,003.76 on medical negligence claims since 2012, making it the fifth highest payer in the country.

Between 2012 and 2017, LCHS spent £628,897.09 and LPFT spent £673,739.00.

Currently, there are four negligence scheme which cover medical negligence costs. These include:

  • Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) – which covers incidents that occurred after April 1995
  • Existing Liabilities Scheme (ELS) – which covers incidents that occurred before April 1995
  • Regional Health Authorities – which was abolished in 1996
  • Department of Health – which covers remaining clinical negligence liabilities

NHS Resolution figures only include CNST and ELS, which means the total amount paid in Lincolnshire could be more.

These figures have placed ULHT in the top 10 trusts for largest combined payouts for both pre-1995 and post-1995 claims in the country. These include:

  • Barts Health NHS Trust (£123,066,279.06)
  • The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (£110,141,325.53)
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (£99,568,149.99)
  • King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (£97,742,994.68)
  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (£92,416,900.14)
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (£90,812,609.52)
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (£90,350,003.76)
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS (Foundation) Trust (£90,227,227.46)
  • Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (£84,328,729.53)
  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (£80,853,729.53)

Historic mistakes

Some £6,511,057.90 was spent by ULHT on historic claims post-1995 alone.

Of these claims, 100% linked to mistakes made in relation to maternity.

These figures have placed ULHT in the top five trusts for largest historical payouts in the country. These include:

  • Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (£8,449,332.59)
  • Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (£8,124,613.94)
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (£7,492,315.26)
  • North West London Hospitals NHS Trust (£7,240,331.50)
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (£6,511,057.90)

As previously reported by The Lincolnite in 2013, over £10 million was paid to Aaron Crosby, then 9, from Lincoln, after he was left with severe brain damage during his birth.

Aaron Crosby

He won the settlement from ULHT of over £10 million after Rebecca Crosby attended Lincoln County Hospital when her contractions started, and the birth progressed normally.

However, she was later given a drug designed to stimulate contractions, but the doses were higher than NICE guidelines.

This led to Rebecca having uterine hyper stimulation, starving her unborn baby of oxygen. Staff also “lost contact” with the heart monitor, so failed to take steps to check the baby’s heart rate.

Aaron was left with brain damage, athetoid cerebal palsy and epilepsy. He is wheelchair bound, can’t talk and cannot use any of limbs, so requires 24-hour care.

Karen Brown, Director of Finance, Procurement and Corporate Affairs at ULHT said: “ULHT is one of the biggest trusts in the country, treating a large number of patients.

“There is a rising trend of compensation claims nationally and every NHS trust pays a contribution to an organisation called the NHS Resolution each year.

“This contribution is like an insurance premium, the quantity is calculated by the NHS Resolution and they settle all claims on behalf of ULHT.

“Therefore any funds paid out in litigation cases are not paid by ULHT. This is covered by the insurance premium paid each year to NHS Resolution.

“We aim to provide the best quality care to each and every one of our patients.

“Where mistakes may have occurred, the trust uses this as an opportunity to learn lessons and improve the quality of care for our patients.

“This has been reflected in a reduction in our premiums for 2018/2019.”