Re: Medical litigation (The Times 14 July)
Three quarters of the NHS’s bill for negligence goes to patients in damages. Professor Beard (letters 14 July) is grossly mistaken in his analysis of the figures.
More importantly, half of compensation paid by the NHS goes to the families of roughly 200 children who suffer catastrophic life-long injuries during birth each year. These are injuries which have been proven to be caused by failures in care. The courts calculate in great detail the cost of looking after these children for the rest of their lives including where they will live and how they will get about, eat, wash, communicate, and manage their pain. Just imagine the lives which could, and should, have been lived if not for these injuries.
The best way to cut costs on all fronts is to learn lessons when things go wrong and stop causing harm in the first place, not take away the full and proper compensation which patients need to try to rebuild their lives.
Patients who are harmed unnecessarily have a right to recompense.
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)