Almost £24m paid out to Northampton General Hospital patients in five years

Northampton General Hospital
Northampton General Hospital
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Compensation payments to Northampton General Hospital patients totalled almost £24 million over five years, latest figures show.

The exact total was £23.9 million, which was paid between 2008 and 2013.

Payments by year (rounded) were: 2008/09 £3.7m, 2009/10 £3.1m, 2010/11 £6.6, 2011/12 £5.2m and 2012/13 £5.3m.

And the hospital’s own figures also show 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, more figures show the number of ‘serious incidents’ - those that staff believed had the potential to harm to a patient - reported in 2013/14 were 118 versus 76 in the previous 12 months.

The hospital said some of this was down to better reporting procedures, particularly around pressure ulcers.

Discounting these, serious incidents rose from 47 to 54 in the 12 month period.