The amount of compensation paid out to parents of stillborn babies or infants born with disabilities in the last three years has exceeded £70 million.
The exact figures include £70.5 million in damages and £3 million in legal costs. Though a recent report suggests that the percentage of stillborn births has decreased in recent years, the figure is still significantly higher than it was in the late 1990’s.
The figures come from NHS Scotland who have recently had a freedom of information request. The figures revealed that between January 2009 and June 2011 NHS Scotland settled 30 cases. 44 further cases were closed with no medical negligence compensation being paid and 96 remained open. All of these cases related to defects surrounding pregnancies or as a result of childbirth due to the negligence of medical staff.
These figures are now reaching a level which is pushing NHS funds to the limit. Conservative health spokesman, Jackson Carlaw, has expressed concern that at these levels, clinical negligence payouts will soon start to impact on front line services.
Clinical negligence compensation paid continues to rise
The Scottish Government has expressed concern that the matter of clinical negligence surrounding pregnancy does not get dealt with directly. Though the amount of medical negligence compensation paid out in each case continues to rise, no questions are being asked of those responsible.
The Scottish Government is now beginning to focus upon the importance of holding those responsible to account. They hope that this will ensure that the appropriate lessons can be learned and procedures altered accordingly. Ultimately, this should help avoid repeat cases.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman recently commented on the safety of patients under NHS care in Scotland. She drew attention to the world-leading national patient safety programme which has been implemented in Scotland in an attempt to improve safety and the quality of care administered to patients.
The government hopes to set in place a similar programme designed specifically for the care of maternity patients with a particular focus on the individual requirements of mother and baby.