The NHS is compensating two patients a week for botched care causing lost limbs, figures show.
A total of 605 patients won legal cases against hospitals claiming that negligent care meant they had to have an amputation in the past five years, totalling £189 million in payouts.
It means the average sum for the loss of an arm, foot or leg was more than £300,000, NHS Resolution statistics show.
There were also 314 successful claims where patients said poor care had led to them losing their sight, which resulted in payouts of £80 million, meaning an average compensation cheque of £255,000.
In another 162 cases, people were compensated after claiming they were left with cosmetic disfigurement, who were paid a total of £7 million, an average of around £40,000 per claim.
The total compensation bill from NHS Resolution in the past five years has reached £276 million – meaning such cases are costing the NHS more than £150,000 every day.
John McQuater, the president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, said: “Compensation exists to help get injured patient’s lives back on track, and to meet their additional needs. It is never a windfall, nor a reward for being a victim of negligence.”
Amputee received £2m payout
In one case, Ayanle Omer received a £2.35 million payout last year after his lawyers argued he had to have his leg amputated when medics allegedly failed to spot he had developed sepsis which almost killed him.
Meanwhile, Colin Fortune, who was already blind in one eye after a sporting accident, received a £2 million payout after he lost sight in the other eye after a number of appointments to check glaucoma in his good eye were allegedly cancelled.
An NHS spokesman said: “Thanks to the hard work of NHS staff in delivering the highest standards of patient care, incidents like these are extremely rare, however when they do happen, the NHS is committed to learning from them to improve care for future patients.”
The spokesman said a newly published framework will ensure “a significant shift in the way NHS responds to patient safety incidents”.