Hospital’s compensation pay-outs soar to over £2m

PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 May 2011 | UPDATED: 14:49 27 May 2011


LEGAL costs and compensation pay-outs to patients arising from claims made against Weston General Hospital have rocketed by nearly £2million in one year.

New figures have shown the cost of damages for alleged clinical negligence at the hospital shot up from £390,000 in 2007-08 and £470,000 in 2008-09 to £2.2million in 2009-10. This includes £1.275million paid out in settlements and £968,000 in legal costs prior and during hearings.

The increase follows a rise in the number of claims launched in the year before, when 44 were made during 2008-09, compared to 18 and 11 in the years before. The total bill for 2009-10 is the equivalent cost of nearly 80 nurses, earning a salary of £28,000.

The statistics have been disclosed by the NHS Litigation Authority, which handles compensation payments for hospital trusts.

And while the vast bulk of settlements is paid for by the national organisation, the hospital’s managing trust is asked to pay contributions each year to the Clinical 
Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST).

Following the increase in pay-outs, this contribution rose from £486,000 in 2008-09 to £788,000 in 2009-10 for Weston Area Health Trust.

This is calculated on factors including hospital size, type and the level of assessed risk.

The NHS Litigation Authority says nearly half of claims are settled out of court in favour of the patients.

Recent claimants against Weston General Hospital include the family of Doreen Zoller, whose life, it was claimed, could have been saved or lengthened if she was diagnosed correctly.

Her daughter Wendy, of Greenhill Road, said the family launched a claim following her death in 2008, receiving a pay-out settlement last October.

She said: “These figures are shocking and speak volumes for how the hospital is doing in reality.

“We can only hope lessons have been learnt from our mother’s experience.”

Yesterday (Weds), a spokesman from Weston Area Health Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “The trust has an indemnity against clinical negligence claims with the NHS Litigation Authority which deals with the cases.

“As you are aware, such claims can take many years to come to settlement, so the 2009/10 figures will not relate directly to the calendar year 2009/10 and they may relate to one clinical negligence case or several from many different branches of clinical practice.”

More from Weston Mercury

The English National Ballet will bring its Swan Lake performance to the West Country – and the Mercury is giving readers a chance to win tickets to see the show.

Read more

An East Brent play park will receive a five-figure upgrade to improve facilities for children in the village.

Read more

The collected 30 something’s were partying like it was 2002 at Bristol’s SWX on Friday as post punk rockers A returned to Bristol to play the whole of their seminal album Hi-Fi Serious.

Read more

More than £200,000 has been spent by North Somerset Council on redundancy payments in 18 months.

Read more

The plan to join up a walking and cycling route from Brean to Clevedon has moved a step closer.

Read more

Venture into the wizarding world with the latest remake of one of J K Rowling’s books.

Read more

A woman who has vowed to complete 40 outdoor swims in her 40th year is just three challenges away from hitting her target.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:37

Homemade crafts and items were sold in aid of one of Weston’s best-loved sites.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

A determined Weston woman has completed a gruelling seven-month swimming challenge to raise money for Weston Hospicecare in memory of her partner’s mum.

Read more
Weston Hospicecare Weston-super-Mare
Yesterday, 16:00

The fun and fervour of this year’s carnival may only just have begun to die down, but 50 years ago attention focussed on bringing the event back to Weston’s streets.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 4°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists