The latest figures into medical error payments have revealed that the number of big money compensation claims has risen by 30 per cent in the last two years.
According to the figures which were released under the Freedom of Information Act, there were 336 seven figure payments to patients who were seriously injured by medical errors last year.
The number of £1 million plus settlements has risen from 257 in 2015-16 according to the NHS Resolution, with that figure representing a 30 per cent increase.
Almost half of the 869 cases which took place between 2015 and 2018 were found to have involved children below the age of nine.
The most common errors were due to issues at birth, such as midwives failing to spot signs of distress in the baby during labour leading to oxygen starvation and subsequent brain damage.
These provided the most common reason for a seven-figure payment, due to the need for considerable care for the rest of their life.
At the end of 2018, Cardiff and Vale University health board agreed to pay a record £19.8 million in damages for failings in the care of a woman who suffered catastrophic brain injuries when she was deprived of oxygen as a baby.
The woman is now seriously disabled as a result of not being given oxygen for half an hour when she was being treated for reflux.
NHS Resolution is predicting that by 2022 they are expecting to have paid out around £7.8 billion in clinical negligence costs including damages and legal fees. A figure expected to rise from £2.43 billion this year.
It means that clinical negligence costs will consume about £1 in every £3 of the extra funds that the NHS is set to receive annually under plans to raise England’s NHS yearly budget by £20.5 billion by 2023/24.