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Medical negligence claims have risen in Northern Ireland, the Assembly Ombudsman has reported.

The ombudsman is the final call for unresolved medical negligence claims, and if they decide to uphold a complaint then they can demand that health bodies make changes to ensure that injury does not happen again. This may be in the forms of fines, training or restructures.

The majority of decisions that the ombudsman decided to uphold were to do with doctors’ decisions, treatment and social care.

Many of these complaints were due to a breakdown of trust between the patients and health care professionals, the writer of the report Dr Tom Frawley said to the Belfast Live newspaper

There has been a lot of debate around how the NHS handles complaints in recent months, with health care professionals being required to say they are sorry for any mistakes under new guidelines. They would also be required to inform patients if any mistakes have been made how and when they happen. The total impact of mistakes will also need to be explained to patients.

The total amount spent on pay outs for medical negligence was revealed to be about £1.2 billion by the Telegraph earlier this year. There have been some criticism of the costs involved to the NHS which is under financial pressure from cuts to services.