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Compensation For Medical Negligence Rises

The number of patients compensated by the NHS for medical negligence rose to a record high last year.

The 251 cases in 2015/16 is almost double the tally from five years ago, and an increase of 38 from the previous year.

Scottish Conservative public health spokesman Miles Briggs (pictured) uncovered the information following a parliamentary question to the Scottish government.

The Lothians MSP said ministers had to explain why there has been such a rise, and if this was due to an increasing frequency of actual negligence, or a growing compensation culture.

Health secretary Shona Robison explained in her response that the year of payment didn’t necessarily mean the case had occurred during that period, with some taking several years to settle.

Mr Briggs said: “It’s right that when someone has suffered as a result of clinical negligence they should be compensated.

“But the increase in these payments is extremely worrying.

“Either the NHS is becoming more negligent or simply quicker to address failings with a pay-off, and neither of those outcomes are positive.

“The NHS can’t simply sweep incidents of clinical negligence under the carpet with a compensation deal.”

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