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Figures from the NHS Litigation Authority have revealed that the Colchester Hospital NHS Trust paid out £4.35 million to claimants over the last financial year, a figure that rises to £6.6 million when legal costs are taken into account.
The compensation payments represent a drop of more than £2 million compared to the figures recorded in 2012, but is nevertheless a significant amount of expenditure.
According to the Trust, the money went to a tiny number of patients, with most of the people who utilised their services happy with the care they received; reports the East Anglian Daily Times.
However, concerns remain over how complaints about medical negligence are taken on board at the initial stage. Alan Bishop, who works as a volunteer patient representative at Colchester General, said the hospital cannot afford to keep paying out such large amounts of compensation.
"The way complaints are dealt with and taken forward could prevent them from escalating and becoming a financial cost to the hospital," he told the newspaper.
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