Shannon-Based Solicitor Calls For Change In Medical Negligence Legal Process

A Shannon-based solicitor is calling for changes in the legal system to streamline the process for victims of medical negligence.

It follows new figures which show the UL Hospitals Group has paid out 114 million euro in compensation claims since 2012.

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Figures released to the Aontu party following a parliamentary question tabled show of the 1.6 billion euro paid out by the State’s seven hospital groups in the last decade, around 7 percent of that came from the Midwest’s six facilities – University Hospital Limerick and University Maternity Hospital Limerick, as well as Ennis, Nenagh, St John’s and Croom.

€8.3 million of that figure was paid out in 2021, with a total of 72 million euro paid out in the last four years alone.

Despite the high figure, ULHG’s numbers are the second lowest out of the country’s seven groups, with only Children’s Health Ireland, who operate Crumlin and other acute paediatric services in Dublin behind them.

A Clare Government Senator believes mistakes will be made in environments where staff are under severe pressure.

Ennistymon-based Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway, who’s his party’s Seanad spokesperson on health, says the State is playing catch-up in investing in the health service locally.

The UL Hospitals Group has told Clare FM that ‘safety is an important component’ of everything they do, and that they actively encourage incidents, when they occur, to be identified, reported and reviewed.

They say the Group has ‘established structures that look at the learning from any safety event to ensure that it is captured for implementation’.

These figures have led to calls for the current legal mechanisms to address negligence claims to be re-examined.

Gearoid Howard, who’s with Crimmins Howard Solicitors in Shannon and specialises in personal injury claims, says the path to justice for those who feel they’ve been neglected is a difficult one.