The amount paid in in medical negligence claims for misdiagnosis last year increased by over three quarters, figures by from NHS litigation Authority (NHSLA) have revealed. The total figure paid in compensation for misdiagnosis claims made against NHS trusts in the period 2010-11 was over £98 million; an increase of £42 million on 2009 – 2010 figures.

According to the statistics, 1,204 claims resulted in a compensation payout last year; ten per cent of which were for misdiagnosis of cancer.

The largest single sum paid out for a cancer misdiagnosis claim was £959,000; a further 12 cases saw compensation of £300,000 or more.
The figures, reported in the Daily Telegraph last week, were released following a Freedom of Information request.

A Department of Health spokesperson commented: “It is truly regrettable that an extremely small minority of cases lead to patients being negligently harmed and any compensation paid is based upon the individual circumstances of each case.”

All clinicians owe a duty of care to their patients, whether NHS or private.  Some example situations of clinical negligence include:

  • Failing to see a patient when asked or when urgent assessment is needed;
  • Failing to examine a patient competently or at all;
  • Failing to diagnose a condition within the expertise of the clinician;
  • Failing to refer on or admit a patient to Hospital;
  • Failing to give competent advice or explain choices and consequences;
  • Failing to prescribe any or correct medicine or treatment;
  • Failing to carry out any surgical or other procedure competently.

If you feel you have suffered as a result of negligence at the hands of medical personnel, our solicitors can advise you about how you might go about making a clinical negligence claim. For free initial advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.