Charities call for clinical negligence “fixed costs” proposals to be put on hold

Published: 11 Nov 2015

Five national charities have written a joint letter to health ministers Jeremy Hunt and Ben Gummer asking them to put on hold their proposals to impose a fixed “recoverable costs regime” on clinical negligence claims. The charities (National Voices; SANDS; Birth Trauma Association; Meningitis Now; and AvMA) argue that the proposals are premature and a potential threat both to access to justice and patient safety.

They call for an inclusive review of how avoidable costs can be reduced in clinical negligence and the effects that the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act and other measures are already having on reducing costs and access to justice.

The Department of Health announced their proposals without any prior discussion with external stakeholders such as patients’ groups and currently intend to press ahead with a consultation on how to implement them at the end of the year, in spite of widespread concerns that have been expressed about their merits or consideration of unintended consequences. Read AvMA’s briefing on this subject.