Clinical negligence claims have been described as ‘a fact of life’ in the healthcare profession, by a spokesperson for City Hospitals Sunderland.

In 2012 – 2013, City Hospitals Sunderland is reported to have paid out more than £7.4 million pounds in compensation to clinical negligence victims and legal bills.

A spokesman for City Hospitals Sunderland commented: “Part of our ongoing patient safety regime is to feed back every complaint and error into our day-to-day policies, so that we can learn from our mistakes and try to ensure they are not repeated.

“Unfortunately, clinical negligence claims are a fact of life in a healthcare service.”

Linda Millband, joint national coordinator for clinical negligence claims at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The feedback and lesson learning that the spokesperson talks of makes absolute sense, but the sense of defeatism, that somehow negligence is ‘just one of those things’ a ‘fact of life’ is very worrying.

“Clinical negligence incidents are not inevitable and never acceptable. Those whose lives are irreparably damaged by negligence are forced to litigate to get back what they have lost and the treatment and support they will need for the rest of their lives. Clinical negligence has a devastating effect on the individuals affected and their families.

“While lessons can always be learned from mistakes, it does not mean that we shouldn’t strive to prevent them from happening in the first instance. Hospitals should strive towards a nil incident record.”