Monday, January 23, 2012

NHS bailed out of litigation black hole - Obstetrics Claims Cost the Most

And things can only get worse...

As the British Medical Journal reports that the NHS compensation fund gets £185m bailout as claims rise by 30% in a year, it's important to remind readers that the largest litigation costs for the NHS arise from OBGYN claims.

When planned vaginal birth goes wrong, and especially when a baby is injured, the financial costs are substantial - and the backlog of these claims is huge.

When will maternity care policy makers understand that it's not a focus on "normal" birth that's most important (or cost-effective), but rather a focus on best health outcomes?!

Perhaps it'll take cash-strapped MPs to understand this first.

As reported in the Law Society Gazette, "Peter Walsh, chief executive of the charity Action against Medical Accidents, said most of the increased costs came from a judgment that injured children are entitled to more compensation."

While Mr. Walsh doesn't specifically talk about birth injuries, we do know that the cost of compensation when birth injuries occur (the vast majority following planned vaginal birth) is massive.

1 comment:

Mrs. W. said...

And this neglects the far more common costs associated with birth injuries that fall short of being 'catastrophic'.

I couldn't agree with you more that it's time 'process' becomes secondary to 'outcomes'.

Keep up the good work.