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Maternity failings account for the majority of the NHS’s £13bn spend on negligence

Maternity failings continue to account for the majority of billions of pounds spent by the NHS on clinical negligence claims, as an NHS body warns of the “devastating” consequences of poor care.

Two-thirds of the £13bn spent by the NHS in 2021-21 in respect of negligence claims was related to maternity care, according to new data.

report released by NHS Resolution said it was “a stark reminder that although the NHS remains one of the safest healthcare systems in the world within which to give birth, avoidable errors within maternity can have devastating consequences for the child, mother and wider family, as well as the NHS staff involved.”

According to the figures, 1,243 maternity-related negligence claims were reported to the NHS in 2021-22, up from 1,571 in the previous year.

The data also shows that 200 claims relating to cerebral palsy or brain damage were received in 2021-22 – a decrease from the previous year, in which there were 250.

The organisation said that the growth in obstetrics claims over the past three years was due to trusts reporting cases of cerebral palsy and brain damage earlier through its early notification scheme, which was launched in 2017.

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Source: The Independent, 24 July 2022


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