Dorset County Hospital pays out £6m in compensation for negligence

COST: Dorset County Hospital

NOT HAPPY: DCH governor Andy Hutchings

WAR ON WASTE: Jonathan Isaby

DISAPPOINTMENT: Derek Julian

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

MILLIONS of pounds have been paid in compensation to people who have suffered negligence at Dorset County Hospital.

Problems with diagnosis, operations, labour, infections and even unexpected death have seen more than £6million paid out since 2009.

The hospital has also racked up more than £600,000 in defence costs - even though none of the matters got to court. A total of 76 claims were settled in the period, including 26 for treatments or procedure - including surgery.

The amount has been labelled ‘disappointing’ by patient governors. Due to the way data is collated, the hospital can only provide figures up to March, 31 2013.

But as reported in the Echo in October, a little boy left in a wheelchair is due a ‘huge’ payout due to injuries he suffered prior to his birth in 2002.

His compensation is not included in the figures revealed today.

Money is paid out from risk pooling scheme the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA).

The hospital says its payments are ‘in line’ with other hospitals nationally.

A hospital spokesman said: “The Trust participates in a Risk Pooling Scheme known as the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) and this is operated by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA). “The costs associated with claims are paid from this scheme.

“The Trust receives information from the NHSLA in relation to its claims status and this confirms that the number of claims, distribution across clinical specialties and financial values are in line with both the regional and national position.”

Due to data protection, information about the individuals who have received compensation can’t be revealed.

The NHSLA says the figures should not be interpreted as a league table because due to the different sizes and treatments offered by each NHS Trust ‘inevitably different institutions face different levels of risk.’ The hospital can only provide the date the case was settled, not the date of the incident, which means some may have taken place before 2009.

But a patient governor has said he is ‘not happy’ to have to learn about the payouts from the Echo.

Andy Hutchings said: “I am a publically elected governor.

“I was not happy to learn about this from the Echo.

“It would have been nice, as a publically elected governor, to have been informed.”

A solicitor who specialises in negligence claims says that for families, taking legal action is about getting answers rather than getting a pay-out.

Emma Jones, who works for Leigh Day, takes on cases from across the country - including Dorset. She said there ‘are issues at Dorset’ although the firm is not currently dealing with any cases related to Dorset County Hospital. She said it is currently involved in cases against 30 other NHS trusts across the country. Ms Jones said: “Sometimes people resort to litigation because they believe it’s the only way they’re going to get answers.

“They want to make sure those in charge realise what’s going on and hopefully changes will be made.”

The facts and figures

2009 Total payments: £232,396.15

Defence costs: £9,545.16 2010

Total payments: £1,644,351.39

Defence costs: £121,651.33 2011

Total payments: £1,256,434.80

Defence costs:£265,291.35 2012

Total payments: £2,494,014.25

Defence costs.: £148,320.16 2013

Total payments: £753,329.04

Defence costs: £84,579.88

REASONS FOR PAYOUTS

Diagnosis: 17

Needlestick injury: 1

Treatments or procedure, including surgical: 26

Tests and test results: 5

Communication: 1

Collision/ contact with an object: 2

Theft/ damage/ missing property: 1

Patient moving/ handling/ positioning: 4

Clinical or risk assessment: 2

Blood loss: 1

Monitoring:1

Pressure ulcer: 1

Unexpected/ unavoidable death/ stillbirth: 1

Infection: 2 Slips, trips and falls: 4

Labour/ delivery management: 2

Equipment: 1

Medicine administration:1

Assault: 1

Monitoring: 2

Anger over 'unnecessary jobs' at NHS

DORSET’S healthcare services have also today been criticised for paying out for ‘unnecessary jobs.’ The Tax Payers’ Alliance has released a list of salaries of employees it does not believe ‘deliver value for money.’ Making it on to the list of ‘best paid unnecessary jobs’ in the UK is the role of Deputy Director of Engagement and Communications for Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, with an annual salary of £72,358.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "Taxpayers expect the health budget to be spent on real doctors, not spin doctors. The NHS employs far too many people in jobs that do nothing to deliver frontline patient care.

“It’s time for health chiefs to launch a war on waste and ensure the NHS budget is spent on patients rather than squandered on bureaucrats."

NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group Chief Officer, Tim Goodson said: “Whilst the specific post of Deputy Director of Engagement and Communications is no longer part of the NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group structure, we value the engagement and communications function as it enables us to hear the views of local people and ensure we are taking them into account when commissioning local services.

“In common with other NHS organisations, staff positions within NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group are appointed at nationally agreed pay-scales.”

On the list for ‘unnecessary jobs in the South West’ is Dorset County Hospital’s part-time Arts in Hospital Co-ordinator, a role which the Taxpayers’ Alliance says has a salary of £29,759.

A hospital spokesman said: “Arts in Hospital is a small, charitable organisation based at Dorset County Hospital.

“The Trust funds the arts co-ordinator role to organise and source charitable funding for a range of therapeutic art projects to support our patients.

“Recent projects have included art and music therapy to support the needs of patients with dementia and a video project with our kidney dialysis patients to create a teaching tool for patients and staff.

“The overwhelming feedback we get from patients is that the influence of Arts in Hospital enhances their experience.

“The salary quoted for the arts co-ordinator is a full-time salary – our post holder is part-time, working three days a week, so the salary is just over £17,000.

“Arts in Hospital raises over £42,000 each year for hospital projects so the Trust’s investment in the co-ordinator role is paid back more than two-fold each year.”

Governor’s call for ‘complete transparency’ on payments

A PATIENT governor has called for ‘complete transparency’ as he said he was unaware of the payouts until the Echo requested this information.

Derek Julian said he was disappointed to learn of the sum. He added: “The hospital does not belong to the chief executive, or the governors - it belongs to the public.

“They have a right to know what’s going on.

“I didn’t know anything about these payments. We need complete transparency.

“Governors and the public should be informed about what’s going on at their hospital.”

Comments (19)

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12:17am Tue 1 Apr 14

Sigurd Hoberth says...

I sense the Echo is dropping a fishing story for page clicks and many comments here;-)

Iv'e got a video though that would make this story even worse. You think your private files are private in that hospital? Not when I have walked in off the street, trundled the wards in the early hours with everything left open ;-)

You really should employ investigators instead of cupcake repeaters, your sales would sore.
I sense the Echo is dropping a fishing story for page clicks and many comments here;-) Iv'e got a video though that would make this story even worse. You think your private files are private in that hospital? Not when I have walked in off the street, trundled the wards in the early hours with everything left open ;-) You really should employ investigators instead of cupcake repeaters, your sales would sore. Sigurd Hoberth
  • Score: 1

9:35am Tue 1 Apr 14

Newground says...

Let's get this straight.

The elected Governor is not happy that he hears about important news via the local press.

Meanwhile, making it on to the list of ‘best paid unnecessary jobs’ in the UK is the role of Deputy Director of Engagement and Communications for Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, with an annual salary of £72,358.

Why don't they make it the duty of the Deputy Director to inform the public Governors?
Let's get this straight. The elected Governor is not happy that he hears about important news via the local press. Meanwhile, making it on to the list of ‘best paid unnecessary jobs’ in the UK is the role of Deputy Director of Engagement and Communications for Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, with an annual salary of £72,358. Why don't they make it the duty of the Deputy Director to inform the public Governors? Newground
  • Score: 16

10:43am Tue 1 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

A hospital to be proud of! Yeah Right!

As with other large (outfits) in Weymouth and Dorchester
Two words sum this hospital up....

DIRTY and EXPENSIVE. LOL
A hospital to be proud of! Yeah Right! As with other large (outfits) in Weymouth and Dorchester Two words sum this hospital up.... DIRTY and EXPENSIVE. LOL westbaywonder
  • Score: -17

10:46am Tue 1 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

Two words to describe this and other large (outfits) in Dorchester and Weymouth are ........
DIRTY and EXPENSIVE!
LOL.
Two words to describe this and other large (outfits) in Dorchester and Weymouth are ........ DIRTY and EXPENSIVE! LOL. westbaywonder
  • Score: -16

12:02pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Dorset stuff says...

Another boring FOI story
Another boring FOI story Dorset stuff
  • Score: 7

1:28pm Tue 1 Apr 14

JamesYoung says...

Newground wrote:
Let's get this straight.

The elected Governor is not happy that he hears about important news via the local press.

Meanwhile, making it on to the list of ‘best paid unnecessary jobs’ in the UK is the role of Deputy Director of Engagement and Communications for Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, with an annual salary of £72,358.

Why don't they make it the duty of the Deputy Director to inform the public Governors?
I would argue that it is actually Mr Julian's job to find out what is going on. The job of a governor is surely to hold the Trust accountable and you cannot do that if you sit mutely at board meetings and never ask uncomfortable questions.
[quote][p][bold]Newground[/bold] wrote: Let's get this straight. The elected Governor is not happy that he hears about important news via the local press. Meanwhile, making it on to the list of ‘best paid unnecessary jobs’ in the UK is the role of Deputy Director of Engagement and Communications for Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, with an annual salary of £72,358. Why don't they make it the duty of the Deputy Director to inform the public Governors?[/p][/quote]I would argue that it is actually Mr Julian's job to find out what is going on. The job of a governor is surely to hold the Trust accountable and you cannot do that if you sit mutely at board meetings and never ask uncomfortable questions. JamesYoung
  • Score: 13

4:16pm Tue 1 Apr 14

chesilboy says...

I would argue that Mr Julian is asking for complete transparency that would require a direct breach of the data protection act.

This story is a sad reflection on litigation culture. In the usual style of Echo reporting it is biased purely as an attack on something - in this case the hospital. There is always much more going on, we have no idea of the details.

The hospital has no choice but to spend money on the defence of each case. Still, it's reassuring to know that families are "more interested in getting an answer than a payout". Well, it would be if it were true.
I would argue that Mr Julian is asking for complete transparency that would require a direct breach of the data protection act. This story is a sad reflection on litigation culture. In the usual style of Echo reporting it is biased purely as an attack on something - in this case the hospital. There is always much more going on, we have no idea of the details. The hospital has no choice but to spend money on the defence of each case. Still, it's reassuring to know that families are "more interested in getting an answer than a payout". Well, it would be if it were true. chesilboy
  • Score: 10

4:28pm Tue 1 Apr 14

wurzelbasher says...

Blame the management; none of them seem to know what they're doing anyway!
Blame the management; none of them seem to know what they're doing anyway! wurzelbasher
  • Score: 1

6:28pm Tue 1 Apr 14

hoopeybird says...

Unfortunately there are many managers at dch who are vastly overpaid and it's about time the public knew the truth. Patients are the least of their priorities. Staff are bitterly unhappy and morale is very low. Managers should not be given these high band paid jobs when all they do is go to meetings and make ridiculous suggestions that aren't workable, whilst the hard working low paid workers suggestions are ignored. Bunch of useless idiots wasting our money. Sack them if they can't prove they are doing their jobs properly
Unfortunately there are many managers at dch who are vastly overpaid and it's about time the public knew the truth. Patients are the least of their priorities. Staff are bitterly unhappy and morale is very low. Managers should not be given these high band paid jobs when all they do is go to meetings and make ridiculous suggestions that aren't workable, whilst the hard working low paid workers suggestions are ignored. Bunch of useless idiots wasting our money. Sack them if they can't prove they are doing their jobs properly hoopeybird
  • Score: 2

6:53pm Tue 1 Apr 14

mr commonsense says...

Hoopeybird, would you please enlighten us with facts and figures about your accusations. You spout emotive and unsubstantif language about a subject you clearly know little about, DCH might not be perfect but please don't have a heart attack and then expect all these useless people you talk about try and save your life. You might not be worthy of their help.!!!
Hoopeybird, would you please enlighten us with facts and figures about your accusations. You spout emotive and unsubstantif language about a subject you clearly know little about, DCH might not be perfect but please don't have a heart attack and then expect all these useless people you talk about try and save your life. You might not be worthy of their help.!!! mr commonsense
  • Score: 2

7:26pm Tue 1 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

mr commonsense wrote:
Hoopeybird, would you please enlighten us with facts and figures about your accusations. You spout emotive and unsubstantif language about a subject you clearly know little about, DCH might not be perfect but please don't have a heart attack and then expect all these useless people you talk about try and save your life. You might not be worthy of their help.!!!
Hoopeybird would be alright if he or she were to suffer a heart attack as they would be sent to Southampton! LOL.
[quote][p][bold]mr commonsense[/bold] wrote: Hoopeybird, would you please enlighten us with facts and figures about your accusations. You spout emotive and unsubstantif language about a subject you clearly know little about, DCH might not be perfect but please don't have a heart attack and then expect all these useless people you talk about try and save your life. You might not be worthy of their help.!!![/p][/quote]Hoopeybird would be alright if he or she were to suffer a heart attack as they would be sent to Southampton! LOL. westbaywonder
  • Score: 2

8:13pm Tue 1 Apr 14

ksmain says...

hoopeybird wrote:
Unfortunately there are many managers at dch who are vastly overpaid and it's about time the public knew the truth. Patients are the least of their priorities. Staff are bitterly unhappy and morale is very low. Managers should not be given these high band paid jobs when all they do is go to meetings and make ridiculous suggestions that aren't workable, whilst the hard working low paid workers suggestions are ignored. Bunch of useless idiots wasting our money. Sack them if they can't prove they are doing their jobs properly
Please define what you mean by 'managers' - clinical managers, admin, accountants, etc etc. And what are you comparing their overpayment to? Public or private sector? Which sector of staff are unhappy in the hospital - there are many different types?

I agree some managers are a waste of time. But it is an easy statement to target them all for a slagging off. It can be a difficult task being a manager - after all they may have to put up with some really awkward staff. Have you had a difficult experience working at the hospital perchance?. The NHS struggles for good senior managers because it can be a thankless task trying to keep staff happy, commissioners happy, the public happy, the government happy all at the same time. Sometimes as managers you cannot always implement something that you want or makes sense for a number of reasons and not just money.

I think your attitude is a little simplistic here and I think that you underestimate the task of a manager somewhat.
[quote][p][bold]hoopeybird[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately there are many managers at dch who are vastly overpaid and it's about time the public knew the truth. Patients are the least of their priorities. Staff are bitterly unhappy and morale is very low. Managers should not be given these high band paid jobs when all they do is go to meetings and make ridiculous suggestions that aren't workable, whilst the hard working low paid workers suggestions are ignored. Bunch of useless idiots wasting our money. Sack them if they can't prove they are doing their jobs properly[/p][/quote]Please define what you mean by 'managers' - clinical managers, admin, accountants, etc etc. And what are you comparing their overpayment to? Public or private sector? Which sector of staff are unhappy in the hospital - there are many different types? I agree some managers are a waste of time. But it is an easy statement to target them all for a slagging off. It can be a difficult task being a manager - after all they may have to put up with some really awkward staff. Have you had a difficult experience working at the hospital perchance?. The NHS struggles for good senior managers because it can be a thankless task trying to keep staff happy, commissioners happy, the public happy, the government happy all at the same time. Sometimes as managers you cannot always implement something that you want or makes sense for a number of reasons and not just money. I think your attitude is a little simplistic here and I think that you underestimate the task of a manager somewhat. ksmain
  • Score: 2

8:17pm Tue 1 Apr 14

ksmain says...

westbaywonder wrote:
Two words to describe this and other large (outfits) in Dorchester and Weymouth are ........
DIRTY and EXPENSIVE!
LOL.
Yes roll on the government privatising it eh - then you will have to pay every time you go in there, that is if your insurance stretches that far in which case you may get no treatment at all. Then you really would have something to complain about!!!
[quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: Two words to describe this and other large (outfits) in Dorchester and Weymouth are ........ DIRTY and EXPENSIVE! LOL.[/p][/quote]Yes roll on the government privatising it eh - then you will have to pay every time you go in there, that is if your insurance stretches that far in which case you may get no treatment at all. Then you really would have something to complain about!!! ksmain
  • Score: 6

9:49pm Tue 1 Apr 14

osmington4 says...

hoopeybird wrote:
Unfortunately there are many managers at dch who are vastly overpaid and it's about time the public knew the truth. Patients are the least of their priorities. Staff are bitterly unhappy and morale is very low. Managers should not be given these high band paid jobs when all they do is go to meetings and make ridiculous suggestions that aren't workable, whilst the hard working low paid workers suggestions are ignored. Bunch of useless idiots wasting our money. Sack them if they can't prove they are doing their jobs properly
Completely agree with you, Dch has always been the same, `too many chiefs and not enough indians`. Are the public aware of the extortionate parking fees staff have to pay in order to work? funny how that`s kept quiet.
[quote][p][bold]hoopeybird[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately there are many managers at dch who are vastly overpaid and it's about time the public knew the truth. Patients are the least of their priorities. Staff are bitterly unhappy and morale is very low. Managers should not be given these high band paid jobs when all they do is go to meetings and make ridiculous suggestions that aren't workable, whilst the hard working low paid workers suggestions are ignored. Bunch of useless idiots wasting our money. Sack them if they can't prove they are doing their jobs properly[/p][/quote]Completely agree with you, Dch has always been the same, `too many chiefs and not enough indians`. Are the public aware of the extortionate parking fees staff have to pay in order to work? funny how that`s kept quiet. osmington4
  • Score: 7

6:38am Wed 2 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

ksmain wrote:
westbaywonder wrote:
Two words to describe this and other large (outfits) in Dorchester and Weymouth are ........
DIRTY and EXPENSIVE!
LOL.
Yes roll on the government privatising it eh - then you will have to pay every time you go in there, that is if your insurance stretches that far in which case you may get no treatment at all. Then you really would have something to complain about!!!
Bring it on Ksmain,
As regular readers will know i have a business in Weymouth and reside in Surrey.
I am happy to pay as i already do for private care so no skin off my nose.
My post was not one of complaint, more of observation hence my description (Dirty and Expensive)
I do not use this hospital but know plenty that do and believe me Ksmain its reputation has spread far and wide dear Sir!!!
[quote][p][bold]ksmain[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: Two words to describe this and other large (outfits) in Dorchester and Weymouth are ........ DIRTY and EXPENSIVE! LOL.[/p][/quote]Yes roll on the government privatising it eh - then you will have to pay every time you go in there, that is if your insurance stretches that far in which case you may get no treatment at all. Then you really would have something to complain about!!![/p][/quote]Bring it on Ksmain, As regular readers will know i have a business in Weymouth and reside in Surrey. I am happy to pay as i already do for private care so no skin off my nose. My post was not one of complaint, more of observation hence my description (Dirty and Expensive) I do not use this hospital but know plenty that do and believe me Ksmain its reputation has spread far and wide dear Sir!!! westbaywonder
  • Score: 4

6:40am Wed 2 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

ksmain wrote:
westbaywonder wrote:
Two words to describe this and other large (outfits) in Dorchester and Weymouth are ........
DIRTY and EXPENSIVE!
LOL.
Yes roll on the government privatising it eh - then you will have to pay every time you go in there, that is if your insurance stretches that far in which case you may get no treatment at all. Then you really would have something to complain about!!!
Bring it on Ksmain,
As regular readers will know i have a business in Weymouth and reside in Surrey.
I am happy to pay as i already do for private care so no skin off my nose.
My post was not one of complaint, more of observation hence my description (Dirty and Expensive)
I do not use this hospital but know plenty that do and believe me Ksmain its reputation has spread far and wide dear Sir!!!
[quote][p][bold]ksmain[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: Two words to describe this and other large (outfits) in Dorchester and Weymouth are ........ DIRTY and EXPENSIVE! LOL.[/p][/quote]Yes roll on the government privatising it eh - then you will have to pay every time you go in there, that is if your insurance stretches that far in which case you may get no treatment at all. Then you really would have something to complain about!!![/p][/quote]Bring it on Ksmain, As regular readers will know i have a business in Weymouth and reside in Surrey. I am happy to pay as i already do for private care so no skin off my nose. My post was not one of complaint, more of observation hence my description (Dirty and Expensive) I do not use this hospital but know plenty that do and believe me Ksmain its reputation has spread far and wide dear Sir!!! westbaywonder
  • Score: 0

7:50pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Chicken Wings says...

I love working at DCH, and have done for nearly 4yrs now

Also my immediate line management, are very supportive and listen to comments from myself and my colleagues.

Lots of love to everyone at DCH 😍
I love working at DCH, and have done for nearly 4yrs now Also my immediate line management, are very supportive and listen to comments from myself and my colleagues. Lots of love to everyone at DCH 😍 Chicken Wings
  • Score: 1

11:14am Fri 4 Apr 14

7drawers says...

Staff I believe pay £1:50 a day to park...less than if you have to park in town center car parks to work in a shop....
The hospital as a whole has been my life saver but over the last 3 years of treatment I have twice had cause to complain...and both times over the standard of nursing care I recieved.
Staff I believe pay £1:50 a day to park...less than if you have to park in town center car parks to work in a shop.... The hospital as a whole has been my life saver but over the last 3 years of treatment I have twice had cause to complain...and both times over the standard of nursing care I recieved. 7drawers
  • Score: 0

11:33am Fri 4 Apr 14

peasant says...

I have the utmost respect for DCH after I had 2 hip replacements there in August 1999 which I'm still walking on with no problems. They, Mr Hall in particular really went the extra mile to help my with my severe anxiety over such an operation and did the surgery with an epidural as I requested. Mr Hall even postponed his holiday to do the surgery himself as I requested and when I was ready for the surgery. Could not fault the service from this hospital one little bit.

I Wish I still lived nearby!
I have the utmost respect for DCH after I had 2 hip replacements there in August 1999 which I'm still walking on with no problems. They, Mr Hall in particular really went the extra mile to help my with my severe anxiety over such an operation and did the surgery with an epidural as I requested. Mr Hall even postponed his holiday to do the surgery himself as I requested and when I was ready for the surgery. Could not fault the service from this hospital one little bit. I Wish I still lived nearby! peasant
  • Score: 0

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