According to the Scotsman today:
‘NHS Scotland pays £193m in compensation over five years. Medical negligence payments paid out annually by NHS Scotland have risen four-fold in the past decade, new figures have revealed. In 2016-17, £38.3 million was paid out – up from £9.4m in 2006-07. NHS Scotland has paid a total of £192.9m in medical negligence claims to patients over the five years between 2012-17.’
First, lumping together the figures for five years to get a bigger number for your headline is cheating. Only the annual figure is meaningful and only the increase from one year to the next tells us anything useful.
Now I know that the Scotsman’s new research officer, ‘Brains’ Monteith, has told them they don’t need contextual comparisons anymore now that he has labelled it ‘whitabootery’. However, the research council has rejected his application for it to be recognised as a proper adult concept and the nearest professor of journalism I could find says context is still very important and required for even a bare pass in first year, in semester 1, in week 1, on day 1, before lunchtime.
So, from the FT, see this on compensation claims in the ENHS (English, not Estonian!) in the same year:
‘The number of successful clinical negligence claims against the National Health Service has more than doubled in the past decade, leaving a bill that may be having an impact on the quality of care. The National Audit Office says that over the past decade, spending on the clinical negligence scheme for NHS trusts has quadrupled from £400m in 2006-07 to £1.6bn in 2016-17.’
Now, let me think is £1.6 billion much more than £39.3 million when they have a much bigger population? I know let’s do a cost ratio per head of population. What, you don’t have a mathematics pass? Oh, alright I’ll do it for you.
NHS Scotland compensation plans are running at £38 300 000 per year divided by 5 300 000 folk, or:
£7.22p per head of population.
NHS England compensation plans are running at £1 600 000 000 per year divided by 53 000 000 people, or:
£30.18p per head of population.
We must be doing something better.