THE NHS has paid out more than £90m as a result of medical blunders at Oxfordshire's major hospitals since 2012, it can be revealed.

New figures, which are for cases stretching back to 1995, also reveal Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the John Radcliffe Hospital has the eighth highest bill in England.

Of the massive total, almost a third, £26.9m, was spent on legal fees.

Dr Tony Berendt, Medical Director at the trust, which also runs Headington's Churchill Hospital, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury, defended the size of the sum, saying: “OUH consists of four hospitals and is one of the biggest trusts in the country.

"The trust is a specialist regional centre for many aspects of complex treatment and care, serving a wide geographical area and has approximately 1.3m patient contacts per year.

"The legal settlements do reflect individual cases where there were failings in care and we always deeply regret these."

St Barts Health Trust, based in London, has the highest payout figure of £123m. Despite being the eighth highest figure, OUH is 69th when the figure is spread out over the number of completed consultant appointments.

NHS Resolution represents all NHS trusts which pay an insurance premium to them. Like any insurance provider, they are then responsible for negotiating and paying any settlements.

Dr Berendt added: "The trust’s insurance premium to NHS Resolution has reduced significantly over the last two years, which is a direct result of reducing levels of claims due to improvements in care and our safety culture.

"This is also demonstrated by decreasing numbers of reported incidents of moderate or greater harm to patients.”

Jacquie Pearce-Gervis, of Oxfordshire-based watchdog Patient Voice, described the figures as 'alarming' adding: "Patients need to know which sites within the trust are the places worst affected as I think it will make them consider where they have treatment."

Banbury Cake: Tammie Stanley after the surgery.

Last January, it was revealed OUH had apologised and paid an undisclosed amount of compensation to Tammie Stanley, from Witney, who suffered panic attacks after a botched operation left her with further disfigurement to her face.

The 41-year-old was severely burnt in a mobile home fire as a two-month-old baby and has had some 40 operations over the course of her life to relieve scarring.

In 2014, Miss Stanley underwent a Z-plasty release, a plastic surgery technique to improve the appearance of scars, at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

During the surgery the consultant took the decision to take a skin graft from her neck, despite her having not consented to a graft.

The procedure left Miss Stanley with a new scar on her neck in an area not affected by her burns and reduced sensation to her face.

While the compensation figure was not announced, the mother-of-one said at the time:"I couldn't bear to look at myself in the mirror and experienced severe depression and panic attacks.

"I felt uncomfortable to leave the house unless it was with my partner and I had to quit my job because I couldn't face people who knew me before the surgery."

Banbury Cake: Louisa Ravouvou.

Ten-year-old Louisa Ravouvou, meanwhile, was awarded £5m in care compensation in 2014 after she was left severely disabled following mistakes at the John Radcliffe and the Great Western Hospital in Swindon during her birth in 2003.

Banbury Cake: Sophie Collins, pictured in 2012 with her mum Shenda.

Sophie Collins, pictured in 2012 with her mum Shenda.

Sophie Collins, 22, from East Oxford, was awarded an undisclosed seven-figure payout in 2013 after suffering brain damage when she was injured in a car crash when she was 11-years-old.

She was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital but it took days for doctors to realise that her bowel had been ruptured leading to her brain being starved of oxygen.

Though OUH paid the largest sum in the county, South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) NHS Foundation Trust also paid over £6.2m during the same period, with the annual figure increasing each year until in the last financial year alone the trust paid £2.5m.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental, physical and social care across the county, paid £1.5m.

A spokesman for Oxford Health said: "We always strive to learn from incidents that have impacted on our patients and their families, friends and carers and to review and resolve any matters arising appropriately.

Sometimes this has also involved a financial settlement being made by the trust through its membership of NHS Resolution’s  Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts. 

"The figures put to us seem to describe the total spend by Oxford Health, which would include damages to claimants, defence costs and claimant costs, and not solely the damages paid to claimants, which would be a lower figure."

SCAS said it was unable to comment.