DH delays decision about fixed costs in clinical negligence
Citing delays caused by the formation of a new government on 9 June 2017, the Department of Health has announced that it’s decision on imposing fixed costs in clinical negligence cases has been delayed. No date has yet been announced for publication of the results of the consultation. Despite this, Lord Jackson, who has been reviewing the Government’s plans, is expected to announce his conclusions on Monday (31 July 2017).
Talking in the Telegraph today, AvMA Chief Executive Peter Walsh warned of the dangers of the Government’s plans to impose ‘fixed recoverable costs’ on clinical negligence claims.
At first glance the plans may seem attractive. Few would shed a tear over lawyers earning less money. However, look deeper and it becomes clear that this plan is at best ill-conceived, ignores the root causes of high costs and would have serious unintended consequences.
“The effect of imposing fixed costs on clinical negligence claims – even those below £25,000 in compensation – would be to deny access to justice to many vulnerable and deserving people in some of the most serious cases,” he said. “These proposals would incentivise a ‘deny and defend’ culture… [and] lead to massive lost opportunities to learn from mistakes.”