The National Health Service could face a bill as high as £25 million because of the mistakes of one doctor in Liverpool – with the hospital he worked at facing skyrocketing insurance premiums.
According to a report in the Liverpool Echo
, the NHS has so far has to pay close to £12 million to more than 200 women who received treatment from Dr. George Rowland, with a further £5.4 million so far paid out in legal costs. The report suggests the total bill could potentially reach £25 million.
The publication writes that Rowland worked as a uro-gynaecologist, primarily for the Aintree Centre for Women’s Health, which is now run by Liverpool Women’s Hospital, from the mid-90s to 2007. His patients have claimed they received incorrect treatments for incontinence, or that surgery was performed badly or without the necessary after-care. In total, 406 patients filed for compensation – with 239 winning payouts, 136 discontinued and 31 yet to be settled.
From 2008 onwards the medic had strict conditions imposed on him including limits on the medical procedures he could carry out. Rowland surrendered his medical licence back in 2013 but was never subject to a full misconduct hearing.
Commenting on the case, medical negligence lawyer Ian Cohen told the Echo
that “the financial consequences in these cases will always fall on the NHS” and according to the report, the annual insurance premiums for the Liverpool’s Women Hospital have skyrocketed from £7 million to £14 million in the last two years alone.
However, a spokesman for the NHS Litigation Authority claimed that because the claimants used a protocol with the same medical expert witnesses there has been a “very significant saving to the taxpayer.”