Stafford Hospital is thought to have paid out in excess of £1m in compensation payments to patients and their families who have been victims of medical negligence.
The revelations are the latest in a recent series of shocking exposés on negligent practise within a minority of the nation’s NHS hospitals. The string of medical compensation claims came after lawyers suggested that Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust had acted contrary to the terms of the Human Rights Act.
A 2009 Healthcare Commission inquiry concluded with a damning report of Stafford Hospital, citing “routine neglect” and treatment which was “inhumane” and “degrading” in nature as causes for grave concern.
Indeed the various compensation claims made against Stafford Hospital threw up harrowing examples of such negligence. Patients were said to have been left in states of undress in full view of others and hospital staff would often leave patients hungry or thirsty, ignoring their calls for assistance. The 2009 report concluded that such negligence could have resulted in as many as 1200 more people dying between 2005 and 2008 than would have been expected.
Lyn Hill-Tout, Chief Executive of the Trust, apologised to the victims and their families who had suffered in the hospital but stressed that the Trust had made improvements and would continue to focus on “quality and safety” to ensure that these are sustained. It will become clear in a new report published next month if this is the case.
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