NHS: Negligence

Department of Health written question – answered on 14th October 2014.

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Photo of Mary Glindon Mary Glindon Labour, North Tyneside

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much the NHS has paid out for wrongful birth claims in each year between 2003 and 2013; how many successful claims for wrongful birth were made in each year between 2008 and 2012.

Photo of Mary Glindon Mary Glindon Labour, North Tyneside

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the neonatal conditions were that accounted for successful wrongful birth claims between 2003 and 2013.

Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The following table shows the number of successful claims for wrongful birth made in each year between 2003 and 2013, and how much the National Health Service has paid out to date for those claims:

NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA) notification year

Number of Claims

Damages Paid

()

Defence Costs Paid

()

Claimant Costs Paid

()

Total Paid

()

2013-14

16

13,000

55,109

0

68,109

2012-13

20

624,335

222,348

268,900

1,115,583

2011-12

11

5,460,470

473,481

475,000

6,408,951

2010-11

21

7,537,000

428,718

1,214,400

9,180,118

2009-10

12

4,240,211

197,724

346,600

4,784,535

2008-09

19

4,563,663

538,787

2,012,112

7,114,562

2007-08

16

15,572,500

615,220

1,936,385

18,124,105

2006-07

10

2,326,500

188,381

477,699

2,992,580

2005-06

11

6,886,680

608,207

1,182,508

8,677,396

2004-05

11

11,446,226

585,664

1,407,305

13,439,194

2003-04

17

19,046,063

976,620

3,280,661

23,303,344

Total

164

77,716,648

4,890,259

12,601,570

95,208,477

A further 83 unsuccessful claims were brought during this period, the following table shows how much the NHS LA spent on defence costs in each year:

NHS LA

Notification Year

Closed with nil damages

Number of

Claims

Damages Paid

()

Defence Costs Paid

()

Claimant Costs Paid

()

Total Paid

()

2013-14

8

0

8,870

0

8,870

2012-13

10

0

57,836

0

57,836

2011-12

6

0

18,946

0

18,946

2010-11

9

0

69,630

0

69,630

2009-10

3

0

9,765

0

9,765

2008-09

11

0

32,061

6

32,067

2007-08

5

0

50,415

0

50,415

2006-07

7

0

60,314

0

60,314

2005-06

3

0

0

0

0

2004-05

11

0

51,727

0

51,727

2003-04

10

0

99,996

0

99,996

Total

83

0

459,560

6

459,565

Of the 164 successful claims, 60 cases remain open (i.e. the NHS LA has not resolved all aspects of the claim, e.g. they have agreed damages but not yet paid them or they have paid some or all of the damages but not yet agreed claimants costs). The 104 closed claims have been analysed to produce the following table of neonatal conditions/ other reasons why the claims were brought:

Neonatal conditions/other causes of claim

Number of Claims

Anaemia

1

Cerebral Palsy

3

Chromosome 9 deformity

1

Congenital abnormalities

24

Connective tissue disease

1

Cystic fibrosis

4

Downs Syndrome

8

Failed contraceptive implant/procedure - Healthy baby

8

Failed sterilisation - Healthy baby

24

Failed sterilisation - kidney damage

1

Failed sterilisation - potential learning difficulties

1

Failed sterilisation - termination undertaken

1

Failed termination - brain injury

1

Failed termination - healthy baby

6

Failure to diagnose pregnancy - healthy baby

1

Heart defect

1

HIV

1

Inaccurate fertility advice - healthy baby

1

Inherited blood disorder - Beta thalassaemia

1

Muscular skeletal abnormalities

1

Ornithine trans carboxylase (OTC) deficiency

2

Safeguarding failure (vulnerable mother) – child has behavioural problems

1

Safeguarding failure (vulnerable mother) - healthy child

1

Sickle Cell Trait

3

Spina bifida

3

Unwanted extra uterine pregnancy. Maternal injury. No evidence of neonatal conditions

1

Unwanted pregnancy - No evidence of neonatal conditions

2

Wolf Hirschhon Syndrome

1

Total

104

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