Patient safety must not pay second fiddle to NHS costs reforms, said Brett Dixon, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
“We have advised the Government that there is scope to streamline the procedures and cost involved in lower NHS value claims, but that is only part of the story,” said Mr Dixon.
“So-called NHS ‘never events’ – injuries which are serious and largely preventable - have stayed at the same level in the past two years. Analysis of information provided by NHS Resolution in response to a freedom of information request shows that failures of maternity care represented a quarter of the damages paid out to injured patients in 2016/17*. Failure in maternity care has been identified for years as a major problem for the NHS yet little seems to have changed.
“The urge to streamline costs and procedures must go hand in hand with a real, systemic, consistent reduction in avoidable injury. Only then will the NHS become more efficient, and only then will we see an end to the needless suffering of patients."