570 medical negligence cases settled by 5 NI health trusts over 3 years

By Gillian Crotty

New figures have revealed that 570 medical negligence cases were settled by 5 health trusts in Northern Ireland between 2011 and 2014, with a total of around £109million compensation being paid out to the victims who brought the claims.

Belfast Trust is responsible for some of the more complicated medical procedures, so it is perhaps not altogether surprising that it was the subject of the largest number of medical negligence claims of all the Northern Ireland health trusts. Two thirds of the 12 cases that involved compensation of over £1million involved the Belfast Trust. In one recent case the Belfast Trust finally admitted liability and reached an £8million medical negligence compensation settlement in respect of a severely disabled teenager after several years of fighting the claim.

Cases such as these run up large legal costs because of how long they can be allowed to go on for, and the trust was criticised for engaging in such a lengthy legal battle before finally admitting liability. Action against Medical Accidents says the trusts should focus on patient safety to curb the growing number of clinical negligence claims, and says they should move to reduce legal costs by admitting liability earlier in the case, saying that "it is when there are denials and delays that costs escalate".

If you require legal advice from a medical negligence claims solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9289.

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