Medical blunders, equipment malfunctions and other healthcare ‘failings’ have cost NHS Ayrshire & Arran nearly £5.5m in legal fees, a Freedom of Information request has shown.

And Ayrshire Live can reveal that on at least three occasions surgical ‘foreign bodies’ were seemingly left “in situ” following procedures on patients, which also left the health board paying the price.

The catalogue of issues, which led to legal action against the health board, are contained in a Freedom of Information request, obtained by the Scottish Conservatives.

The FOI shows that the health board spent £5,401,317 on legal costs since 2018/19 – with a total of 142 claims made against them.

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