Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

New report gives voice to “devastated” NHS patients

12 Jan 2022
APIL news

New report gives voice to “devastated” NHS patients

Injured NHS patients have spoken out about the human cost of clinical negligence in a new report published as MPs examine how to cut the health service’s bill for causing harm.

The House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee is gathering evidence for its inquiry on NHS litigation reform.

“There is a fixation on the financial cost of clinical negligence, rather than on the human cost and the reasons why injured patients have to make a claim for compensation at all,” said Guy Forster of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) a not-for-profit group which campaigns on behalf of injured patients and their families.

“There are a lot of voices and opinions in any debate which concerns the NHS and patient safety, but they are almost never the voices and opinions of the patients. This is why APIL has commissioned The Value of Compensation report,” said Mr Forster, who presented evidence to the committee for APIL on Tuesday (11 January).

Patients who took part in the research, conducted by Opinium, cite mounting debt; uncertainty about their future health; isolation; abandoned careers; relationship breakdowns; and loss of independence, as some of the many far-reaching side effects of injuries sustained through failures in care.

“Patients are devastated to have trusted the NHS with their health and then have to live with the pain and suffering of an injury which should have been avoided,” said Mr Forster. “This report provides new insight on how compensation can help rebuild their lives.”

“None of them relish having to make a claim for compensation. I cannot stress enough that the money is never, ever a ‘windfall’ for an injured patient,” he went on.

“It is obvious that full and fair compensation is critical for injured patients. It should go without saying that the cost of compensation would be cut if the harm were not caused in the first place. But it is critical that when things go wrong, injured people are cared for properly and have the chance to get back on track.”

Examples of injured patients

  • Diagnosis of lyme disease in a man in his 30s was missed repeatedly over a period of six months. He had been forced to give up work due to his debilitating symptoms. Compensation helped him get back on track financially, but he has not been able to return to his career in IT. In a fast-moving tech sector, six months is long enough for skills and knowledge to become obsolete.
  • LB was placed in a broken bed while giving birth to her first child. She was given an epidural. During labour, her foot dropped out of the stirrup causing nerve damage to her back. She was unable to move and spent one month in hospital. She was unable to walk for several months. Her mum took six months off work to care for LB and her new baby.
  • A 36-year-old mother of four is living with a severe and incurable lung condition caused by the side-effects of medication. She lost her job and her marriage broke down. She finds it difficult to move around her home. She used her compensation to install a downstairs wetroom.

 

-ends-

  • The Value of Compensation is here: https://www.apil.org.uk/files/online-files/520-491677/TVOC-Opinium-APIL.pdf
  • Research was commissioned by APIL and carried out by strategic insight agency Opinium https://www.opinium.com/
  • The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is a not-for-profit campaign group which has been committed to injured people for more than 30 years. Our vision is of a society without needless injury but, when people are injured, they receive the justice they need to rebuild their lives.  We have more than 3,200 members who are committed to supporting the association’s aims, and all are signed up to APIL’s code of conduct and consumer charter.  Membership comprises mostly solicitors, along with barristers, legal executives, paralegals and some academics.
  • For more information contact APIL's communications manager Jane Hartwell on t: 07541 490988, e: [email protected] or APIL’s press and communications officer Iman Anthony on t: 07808 768623 e: [email protected].
  • Follow @APIL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APIL.

 

Past press releases

London barrister campaigns for injured people, 12 May 2022
New additions to APIL, 11 May 2022
Proposed NHS scheme ‘completely unacceptable’, 28 Apr 2022
Costs reforms "unfair" to injured patients, 25 Apr 2022
Peers vote for legal aid at inquests, 01 Apr 2022
NI now fairest in UK for people with life-changing injuries, 22 Mar 2022
"Disproportionate" whiplash plans dropped, 22 Mar 2022
New blow for injured patients, 31 Jan 2022

More past press releases

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