Compensation payments to Northampton General Hospital patients totalled £23.9 million over five years, latest figures showed.
Payments by year (rounded) were 2008/09 £3.7m; 2009/10 £3.1m; 2010/11 £6.6m; 2011/12 £5.2m; and 2012/13 £5.3m.
The hospital’s own figures also showed there were 44 new clinical negligence claims, for unspecified amounts, made between April 2013 and March 2014. NHS hospitals cannot reveal details about claims because of patient confidentiality and solicitors rarely give figures in relation their client’s compensation.
However, part of the £23.9m compensation – which is paid from an insurance-type NHS scheme rather than hospital funds – is likely to have gone to Martin Balfe, whose 62-year-old wife died when surgeons failed to spot a bile leak in June 2011.
It was later found this caused her organs to fail.
Meanwhile, the number of incidents staff believed had the potential to harm to a patient were 118 in 2013/14 compared with 76 in the previous 12 month. NGH said this was down to better reporting procedures, particularly around pressure ulcers.
Discounting pressure ulcers, ‘serious incidents’ rose from 47 to 54 in the 12 month period.