There has been an increase in the number of historic pay outs against the NHS for mistakes made before 1995. The majority of these claims are linked to failings in maternity care.

These include claims linked with failings before, during or shortly after labour that leave families with a severely disabled child. The extent of the damage caused is not often known for a number of years. This can lead to long delays in claims being resolved, especially if the claim is disputed by the Trust involved.  Also, families may not consider bringing a claim for a number of years.

As a result, for the reasons outlined above, the extent of claims against Trusts for maternity failings will not appear in the statistics for a number of years after the negligent event.

Statistical data provided by NHS Resolution, the body that handles claims on behalf of all NHS Trusts, and analysed by the BBC Shared Data Unit confirms United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has paid out over £6 million pounds between 2012 and 2017 in respect of claims relating to failings pre 1995. This means ULHT has the 5th highest bill for historical claims in the country.

Other Trusts near to Lincolnshire were also named. Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Trust was ranked 2nd with a bill of approximately £8 million and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust was ranked 6th with a bill of just over £6 million.

Also, bills against ULHT for failing’s pre and post 1995 totaled over £90 million which ranks the Trust in the top 10 Trusts in the Country for payouts.

Payouts by Lincolnshire Community Health Services and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust figures were also contained within the results. Lincolnshire Community Health Services paid £628,897.09 and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust paid £673,739.00 for the period 2012-2017.

The publication of this data has resulted in articles being published by the BBC and the Lincolnite. The Lincolnite has obtained a response to their publication from Karen Brown, Director of Finance, Procurement and Corporate Affairs at ULHT. Karen Brown has said that “There is a rising trend of compensation claims nationally and every NHS trust pays a contribution to an organisation called the NHS Resolution each year.” She goes on to say that any funds paid out in litigation cases are not paid directly by ULHT. However, a premium is paid every year to NHS Resolution.

The data shows that a substantial amount of money has been paid by ULHT for historic and post 1995 claims. It will be interesting to see if the payouts will continue to increase or whether improvements in systems and training in maternity care will result in a decline in claims and compensation payouts.

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