Medical blunders at hospitals across the Midlands and Staffordshire saw the NHS pay out £65,000 a day in damages last year.
Errors in how patients were treated saw a total of £23.6million paid out by the region’s six hospital trusts. With legal fees and court costs the amount jumped to £34m.
It is the third year running that the compensation bill has risen.
The figures cover hospitals in Dudley, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, Sandwell, Walsall and Worcestershire for the financial year ending in April and represent payouts from clinical negligence claims which are lodged in cases such as when a patient has died or been left disabled because of blunders by hospital staff.
Earlier this year mother-of-four Donna Bowett, from Kidderminster, received a six-figure sum after she was left with seven-inch forceps inside her following an operation to remove a gallbladder. The 42-year-old had the key-hole surgery at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch in 2009.
The new figures show that the bill for damages at the trusts increased every year since 2009/10, when £15.4m was paid out for the damages. In 2011/12 the figure rose to £23.2m.
Payouts may be made for cases which go back for several years and the money is handed over by the NHS Litigation Authority which manages negligence claims.
At Dudley Group of Hospitals the amount paid out rose by almost £1m to £6.1m over the last year.
Payouts from the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, which runs New Cross Hospital, also rose at the same mark – from £2.2m to £3.1m, bosses there said payouts were below average.
Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust’s bill went up from £1.7m to £1.8m, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust’s bill rose from £3.2m to £3.8m, while Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s bill leaped from £1.9m to £4.2m. Only Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust saw its bill fall – from £9m to £4.6m.
Health chiefs said all claims are treated seriously and that lessons were learned following any payouts.