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Health / NHS chief ‘disappointed’ by compensation pay outs

SHETLAND MSP Tavish Scott has called for a review of NHS Shetland compensation pay outs following the revelation that the local service has paid out £325,806 in the past five years.

The figure was revealed in a freedom of information request which also showed that eight claims had been settled since 1 April 2013, including claims for clinical failure to diagnose/late diagnosis, failure to obtain consent, failure to recognise complication of treatment, infra-operative surgical problems and a medical records breach of confidentiality.

Scott said: “£325,000 is a significant sum of money paid out by NHS Shetland for medical compensations. Particularly when NHS Shetland face substantial financial challenges such as recruiting nurses for areas like Bressay.

Tavish Scott has criticised the dealTavish Scott MSP

“It is in nobody’s interest to use public monies in this way, so I would want NHS Shetland to be reviewing the scale of these pay outs and learn any lessons as to why this money has been spent in this way. People need to receive the treatment they require.”

In the same period the much larger NHS Highland settled 54 clinical claims and around 20 employer liability claims totalling £5,342,700 in compensation.

NHS Shetland Chief Executive Ralph Roberts said: “NHS Shetland recognises that, on a small number of occasions, the care we provide to our patients falls below the high quality to which we aspire.

“In an even smaller proportion of cases individuals make a claim to recognise the impact their care has had on them.

“NHS Shetland is always disappointed if this needs to be the case but accept that occasionally this is right to reflect the seriousness of the incident.”

He added: “NHS Shetland would emphasise that we have taken all of these incidents extremely seriously and put in place appropriate action to learn lessons and minimise the risks of any repeat.”