The number of clinical negligence payments health boards across Scotland have been forced to make has almost doubled in the last year, according to new figures.
A total of 244 cases in 2011-12 resulted in payments being made, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon revealed in response to a written parliamentary question from Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes, up from 133 the previous year.
However, spend on clinical negligence claims by NHS Scotland has more than halved from £60.7m in 2010-11 to £27.19m twelve months on, the figures, released this week, illustrate.
It comes in the wake of reports today showing the number of patients in accident and emergency departments throughout the county having to wait in excess of 12 hours to be seen has more than doubled over the past four years.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde witnessed the largest number of compensation payments as a consequence of clinical negligence with 72 made last year compared to 44 in 2010-11.
NHS Lothian paid out on 27 occasions, NHS Grampian on 25, and NHS Ayrshire and Arran in 22 cases in the most recent year on record.
Fluctuations in the actual overall sums paid out year-on-year often come down to the number of high value settlements that arise in any one period with 25 claims in 2010-11 alone prompting payments in excess of £1m.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government is committed to making sure that all patients receive high quality care from our NHS and that is why we introduced a national patient safety programme to improve the safety and quality of care for patients in Scotland.
“The Scottish Patient Safety Programme has been introduced in all Scottish acute hospitals and aims to reduce healthcare associated infection, reduce adverse surgical incidents, decrease adverse drug events, improve critical care outcomes and improve organisational and leadership culture on safety.
“It is vital that when clinical negligence claims do arise, NHS Boards learn from these cases and put steps in place to ensure that there is no repeat in future.”