Sheffield Teaching Hospitals settled the most pressure sore claims across England NHS trusts in last decade

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says pressure sores are ‘often preventable’.
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Sheffield Teaching Hospitals settled the highest number of pressure sore compensation claims out of all NHS England trusts in the last decade.

Following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by medical negligence solicitors Blackwater Law it has been revealed that the NHS has spent more than £155m in the last decade settling claims for pressure sore injuries. The cost to the NHS was incurred across 2,328 cases in the last 10 years.

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In the most recent financial year 2022/2023, more than £20m has been spent settling claims for pressure sore injuries.

The trust with the highest number of settled claims against it was Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with 50, at a total cost of £3.38m. The next highest were Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust with 39, followed by University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust both with 31.

The exact details of each case are not known, however there are common issues that can lead to pressure sores occurring on a patient. If they are bedbound for an extended period for example and not moved often enough. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines say that “pressure ulcers are often preventable.”

Pressure sores are separated into four grades with a grade four pressure sore being the most severe kind. Here the skin is so badly damaged that surrounding tissues begin to die (a condition known as tissue necrosis). It is these types of pressure sores that could lead to a successful claim due to the fact care may have been at a substandard level for a period long enough for the wounds to deteriorate so badly.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals settled the highest number of pressure sore compensation claims out of all NHS England trusts in the last 10 years.Sheffield Teaching Hospitals settled the highest number of pressure sore compensation claims out of all NHS England trusts in the last 10 years.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals settled the highest number of pressure sore compensation claims out of all NHS England trusts in the last 10 years.
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The FOI request also revealed which trusts had spent the most in settling pressure sore claims over the last decade. Barts Health NHS Trust spent the most settling claims, at over £3.8m. Next were Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, spending over £3.7m. The next highest spending were University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust who spent just under £3.5m over the last 10 years settling pressure sore claims.

Commenting on the figures Jason Brady, head of medical negligence at Blackwater Law, said: “Our FOI request highlights that over 2,300 people in the last 10 years have suffered pressure sores bad enough to lead to a successful medical negligence claim.

"Each of these is an individual, with a family, who now suffer the life changing consequences of their injuries due to care that fell below acceptable medical standards, and suffered from incidents that the NICE Guidelines describe as ‘often preventable.’

“We as a nation are incredibly lucky to have the NHS, however, clinical negligence claims act as an important measure in holding the healthcare providers to account when things do unfortunately go wrong. In my 20-year experience as a clinical negligence solicitor, those who pursue a claim are often seeking justice as well as wishing to ensure that medical professionals learn from their mistakes so that other families don’t suffer the same consequences."

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been approached for comment.

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