The NHS paid out a record £1.2bn in compensation in just one year, it is being reported.
The £1.2bn was paid out during the yearly reporting period between 2011 and 2012. The figure includes legal costs and compensation costs for patients who have sued after suffering from clinical negligence.
The Independent reports that the figure – released in the NHS Litigation Authority’s annual accounts – is a significant increase from the figure for the previous yearly period. The compensation bill between 2010 and 2011 was £863 million. This is over £300 million less than the most current accounts.
The number of patients making negligence claims after suffering harm at the hands of the NHS has also risen. Some 13,761 patients made claims in the period between 2011 and 2012. This is an increase from the two previous years, where 13,001 and 10,726 claims were made respectively.
Compensation claims made against the NHS for non-clinical reasons cost the Litigation Authority £52.4 million during 2011 to 2012. Non-clinical claims cover normal personal injury accidents such as slipping on unmarked wet floors. This figure includes claims made by both patients and staff.