NHS negligence claim payouts in Scotland came to more than £60m over three years, with more than half the bill between 2006-07 and 2008-09 run up by obstetrics and gynaecology errors.

The two departments, covering childbirth, fertility treatment, terminations and hysterectomies, accounted for £34.6m in claims, more than £15m of that in 2006-07, and £13.7m in 2008-09.

General surgery errors over the three years saw around £4.3m paid out, while £4.1m went to sufferers from negligence in dietetics departments, according to figures obtained by the Conservatives in a parliamentary answer from health secretary Nicola Sturgeon.

A Scottish government spokeswoman said awards depend on circumstances.

She added: “The values fluctuate because of the number of high value cases that may settle in any given year. These are mostly birth-related cases that often take several years to settle, as reflected in the greater amounts paid out under obstetrics and gynaecology. There have been significant falls in the number of new clinical negligence claims in recent years.”