Ipswich: Compensation payouts fall at Ipswich Hospital
PUBLISHED: 06:30 15 August 2014
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Declining compensation payments to patients at Ipswich Hospital have been welcomed as an indication of the progress being made in improving frontline care.
Figures released by the NHS Litigation Authority in response to a Freedom of Information request (FOI) indicate that nearly £2.5m has been paid out by the hospital to patients since 2009 - however the annual payout has reduced in each of the consecutive years.
In 2009/2010 £1.37m was paid out to 17 claimants, reducing to £455,536 the following year and down again to £227,534 in 2012/13 - the last year for which full figures are available.
Dan Poulter, MP for North Ipswich and Central Suffolk and a junior health minister, has praised the frontline staff for the high quality care they deliver.
“Obviously every available penny given to the NHS should be spent on frontline patient care and it’s always disappointing when things don’t go well for patients and compensation has to be paid out,” he said.
“However, compared to many other hospitals, Ipswich Hospital pays out relatively small sums of compensation and I think we should be proud of the high quality care that is delivered by frontline staff working in the hospital.
“We can be pleased about the good progress has been made in terms of the quality of care at the hospital.”
The highest compensation single payouts in respect to an individual patient has also been generally decreasing over the years.
Whereas in 2009/10 three claimants received more than £300,000 in a single payment, with the highest single pay out totalling £355,000, over all of the subsequent years only one other payout reached six figures.
A spokesman for Ipswich Hospital said: “Our first and most important priority is to deliver safe, compassionate high quality care to all patients.
“If we get it wrong which sadly, albeit rarely, does happen, we need to make sure it is addressed as quickly as possible.
“We work in partnership with the National Health Service Litigation Authority (NHSLA) to make sure that all medical negligence claims against the hospital are managed appropriately and speedily.
“The number of cases and level of compensation varies from year to year.