With an increased amount of National Health Service (NHS) funding paying escalating compensation claims, Health-on-Line question whether an increase in enquiries is driven by increasing public frustration.
Recent estimates made on behalf of the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) have revealed that compensation paid to patients will total around 10% of the NHS annual budget, an increase of 30% on last year’s figure.
Mike Dalby, director of online private medical insurance firm, Health-on-Line, says "It is difficult to be certain but we have seen an increase in health insurance enquiries over recent months and we are beginning to wonder whether this is due in part to the public’s increasing frustration with misdirected NHS funds. This is a double blow. Not only are funds which should be spent on patient care being diverted elsewhere but they are being diverted to pay for mistakes which could reoccur. There is no guarantee that we won’t see a similar increase in compensation paid next year, continually eating into the considerable funding the NHS receives for patient treatment. We question whether the increase in health insurance enquiries we have seen recently is down to an increase in public concern about the NHS and the services they receive. Many people will question why this compensation has to be paid in the first place. Is it down to the fact that the NHS is finding it increasingly difficult to maintain standards of cleanliness or the increased pressure on the health system is leading to more mistakes being made? It will only have a detrimental effect on the public’s confidence in the NHS."