The NHS has had to pay out a staggering £1 billion pounds in damages for misdiagnoses over the past six years – the amount it would cost to train 4,453 new doctors.
It had a total of 7,629 successful claims brought against it in England during this period and was forced to cough up £1.024bn, according to figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request.
The largest spike was seen in 2016/2017 when there were 1,534 awards – a rise of 28 per cent from 1,199 claims the previous year.
Across the six-year period, there was a 22 per cent increase in total.
However, while the number of claims has risen, the actual amount paid out has fallen by 9 per cent during this period.
NHS England had 7,629 successful claims brought against it for misdiagnoses during this period costing over £1 billion
The recent figures, obtained by specialist solicitor Bolt Burdon Kemp, show that the worst performing NHS trust based on damages paid out for misdiagnoses in 2016/2017 was York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust which forked out £4.7million.
The next largest payouts came from St Helens and Knowsley with £4.5million, Stockport with £3.5million, Royal Free London with 2.8million and The Mid Yorkshire with 2.6million.
The firm has produced an infographic that lists the worst 20 trusts for misdiagnosing conditions.
The NHS separates diagnosis claims into two categories. The first, wrong diagnosis, is when a patient is given an incorrect diagnosis by a doctor or health professional.
The second, failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis, is when a doctor doesn’t give any diagnosis at all, or makes one too late.
No break down of a the conditions incorrectly diagnosed has been provided. Campaigners argue there are certain conditions that are chronically underfunded area in the NHS.
For instance, a Government commissioned inquiry carried out by University College London’s EPPI Centre found that there is no reliable diagnostic test for Lyme Disease in the UK despite incidences of the disease increasing here.
The infographic shows the top five worst performing trusts based on damages paid out for misdiagnosis in 2016/2017
The top five worst performing trusts based on the number of successful claims in 2016/2017 for failed or delayed diagnosis
Listed here are the top 20 worst performing trusts for wrong diagnosis last year
An NHS under strain
The findings come after foreign secretary Boris Johnson publicly called for extra funding for the NHS after Brexit.
The British Medical Association (BMA) has claimed NHS funding was ‘well below’ what other comparable European countries spend on healthcare and has leading doctors have warned that the crisis in general practice is deepening.
GP surgeries are under huge strain from the ageing population – with many more patients having complex illnesses – as well as immigration.
They are also in the grip of a recruitment crisis, with an exodus of doctors retiring or quitting who are not being replaced by young trainees.
Last month it was revealed almost 100,500 full-time NHS jobs are vacant – that’s one in ten – according to figures obtained by Labour which said the Government’s workforce policies had created a ‘disaster.’
Furthermore, NHS bosses announced 55,000 operations will be postponed due to the mounting winter health crisis.
The NHS was approached for comment.
ALMOST 140 MEN HAVE LOST A ‘HEALTHY’ TESTICLE IN SIX YEARS DUE TO NHS BLUNDERS
A series of NHS blunders have caused 137 men to lose one of their testicles in the past six years, according to latest figures.
Some £2.8 million in compensation was dished out to those who were affected by the ‘devastating’ incidents – around £20,000 each.
The statistics, released by NHS Resolution – which is the litigation authority, revealed some of the most horrific cases that have occurred.
They include the case of an unidentified man who had his healthy testicle removed – rather than the cancerous one.
Some £2.8 million in compensation was dished out to those who were affected by the ‘devastating’ incidents – around £20,000 each (stock image)
Another saw his testicle become gangrenous and had to be cut out after reportedly being given the wrong treatment for torsion.
The figures, given to The Sun, prompted concerns by medical negligence lawyers about the long-term effects.
Nicola Wainwright, of law firm Leigh Day, told the newspaper: ‘It is devastating, particularly if they are young and not yet in a long-term relationship.
‘They are embarrassed having to explain their injury to future partners.
‘It’s also a tragedy if they are hoping to have a family and are worried about their fertility.’