Care Standards Not Monitored - Committee

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), September 20, 2002 | Go to article overview
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Care Standards Not Monitored - Committee


THE Department of Health was yesterday accused of failing to monitor standards of medical care, resulting in millions of pounds being paid out in compensation for clinical negligence.

Members of the Stormont Public Accounts Committee slammed the department for being slow to put in place measures to ensure that boards and trusts kept adequate medical records and had proper risk-management procedures.

The PAC was meeting to discuss a Northern Ireland Audit Office report which revealed that health organisations have paid out pounds 55 million in compensation over a 10-year period.

The report, compiled by Comptroller and Auditor General John Dowdall, also revealed that a potential liability pounds 121m was registered against a further 3,532 outstanding claims.

Expressing surprise that information on clinical negligence cases has not been held centrally by the department, the report called for mechanisms to be introduced to allow lessons to be learned from the wide range of adverse cases against the health profession.

At yesterday's PAC meeting Roy Beggs (UUP, East Antrim) pointed out that the department had this month set up a regional database to record clinical negligence cases.

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