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Call for health minister to account for £18m compensation payments

The Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has called for the health minister to make a statement to the Assembly Plenary accounting for huge sums of money paid to patients and their relatives by ABMU Health Board in compensation for poor care over the last three years

Mr. Black raised his question with the Business Minister after a freedom of information request to the health board (attached) revealed that in the 27 months between 1 January 2012 and 1 April 2014 they had paid out around £17.7 million to relatives and patients to compensate them for mistakes and poor care in the board's four major hospitals. A further quarter of a million pounds was paid out in the same period under the NHS Concerns, Complaints and Redress Arrangements (Wales) Regulations. That is averages out at over £650,000 a month.

"This is a huge amount of money that is no longer available to fund frontline care," said Mr, Black. "Obviously, those who received the payments did so properly and to compensate them for harm done to them or their family, but it is disturbing nevertheless that the payments needed to be made in the first place.

"I have asked for a statement from the Minister to account for this expenditure, to determine whether they form part of a trend, to identify what lessons have been learned and to discover the situation in other health boards. All has not been well within ABMU for some time. These payments reinforce that position.

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