Action against Medical Accidents(AvMA) is the UK charity for patient safety and justice. We provide free and confidential advice and support to people affected by medical accidents, via our helpline and casework service and can refer to our panel of specialist clinical negligence solicitors or other sources of support where appropriate. HELPLINE: 0845 123 2352 (Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm). AvMA is also the foremost patients' charity working to improve patient safety in the UK.
29.06.15: Proposals to cap legal costs in clinical negligence
As part of a raft of cost-saving measures, the Department of Health proposes to cap legal costs in clinical negligence cases where the NHS has been found to have been negligent and caused harm.
The announcement was made yesterday via the media without any prior discussion with AvMA and other key stakeholders. AvMA awaits to see details of the proposal but believes that the rationale given is misguided and the proposal would deny many injured patients and families access to justice.
Judges already can and do limit damages if they are found to be unjustified. Often costs escalate because the NHS unreasonably denies liability or delays settlement of claims. The proposal to base the legal costs cap on a proportion of the damages awarded would make some claims unviable. The damages awarded to people with no income or dependants (such as older people, or in still birth or child death cases) is usually very small but can be just as complex and costly to investigate as any other case.
AvMA chief executive Peter Walsh said: “We are disappointed that no discussion and very little thought seemingly went into these proposals and the effects on access to justice have been ignored. The Department of Health and Ministry of Justice would do better to address the unreasonable denials and delays in settling claims and improving patient safety. 100% of these costs not to mention the far greater human cost would be avoided if the negligent treatment was avoided in the first place.”
18.06.15: AvMA's LEGAL CHALLENGE OVER "TWO-TIER" DUTY OF CANDOUR
Lawyers acting for AvMA have written to Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, demanding changes to the ‘Duty of Candour’ regulations, or face a potential judicial review. A deadline of Friday 19th June has been given for a response after which, if there is not a satisfactory response, AvMA intends to instruct lawyers to apply for a judicial review. Read more
To sign up to e-newsletter click here
Have you lost a loved one?