Response to press release by Jackson Carlaw, MSP, on compensation payments made by the NHS in Scotland

Dr Charles Swainson, Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said:

“Healthcare in Lothian is generally very safe and these kinds of situations are rare, though that does not minimise the distress for the people involved and we do take all such incidents extremely seriously.
A number of long-running cases were settled in 2006-7, impacting on the figure recorded. Four cases account for 93% of the total for this year. Under the laws on patient confidentiality, we cannot disclose details of individual cases where there is a risk of disclosure of the patient’s identity.
“Most claims of medical negligence occur in a small number of specialties and steps are always taken to learn from rare incidents of this nature so that the chances of their recurrence is minimised. As Scotland’s second largest health board, patients are sent to us from across the country requiring some of the most sophisticated and complex care available.”