Lincolnshire hospitals must learn lessons says dad of disabled girl
THE dad of a severely disabled girl says lessons must be learned after figures show more than £42m of medical negligence payouts by Lincolnshire hospitals in five years.
Andy Evans, 47, said the landmark £10.8 million award for his daughter Milly in May 2012 would help improve her quality of life.
But Mr Evans, from Cranwell, said United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust must also seek to prevent similar incidents to other children.
Milly, now 12, was left with Cerebral Palsy after enduring in-utero distress and suffering a seizure in the neo-natal unit at Lincoln County Hospital in March 2001.
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The compensation is split into an advance payment of £5.866 million, £140,000 a year until Milly is 19 and then £204,000 a year for the rest of her life.
But despite the clinical negligence Andy and his wife Kate say they hold no grudge against the hospital.
Mr Evans said: "The cost of Milly's care itself has been £110,000 in the past 10 months.
"The first part of seeking damages was to try to get a life which Milly should have been able to experience had she not been disabled.
"All we can do is try to make things a little easier and better.
"From Lincoln County Hospital's side of things, they really must learn from certain errors they really should not have made so that no other young girl or boy ends up in a situation where their life is completely ruined."
Figures from the NHS Litigation Authority, which handles negligence claims on behalf of the NHS, show a total of £42,356,481 paid out between 2008/9 and 2012/13 – an average of £8.5 million a year.
Of this, a total of £29,920,802 million in damages was paid – almost £6 million a year on average.
Unexplained hospital deaths, misdiagnosis of life-threatening illness and negligence surrounding childbirth can all lead to claims.
In 2011/12 total damages of £11,483,733 were awarded in Lincolnshire, rocketing to more than £15 million with defence and claimant costs, the biggest total in the past five years.
Last year, 2012/13, £6.6 million in damages was paid plus costs of £3,325,474, compared to £2.9m in damages and £1,648,040 in costs in 2008/9.
Since 2008/9, 479 claims and 27 intentions to claim were reported to the litigation service but the amounts paid may not relate to the same claims.
Claims can be made long after the incident prompting a claim, especially when the patient is a child.
Some patients abandon their intention to claim, and claims can take several years to reach their conclusion.
ULHT says it must be borne in mind that it is an unusually big trust treating large numbers of people.
The trust adds that there is a national trend of rising compensation claims and that every case is used as an opportunity to learn lessons and make improvements.