Important patient safety consultations closing soon

Published: 16 May 2019

AvMA encourages people to respond to two important consultations which are closing soon.

Extending Fixed Recoverable Costs in Civil Cases

Ministry of Justice consultation

In his 2017 report Jackson LJ proposed the introduction of a new “intermediate track”. It was envisaged that certain claims with damages valued up to £100,000 which can be tried in three days or less, with no more than two expert witnesses giving oral evidence on each side would meet the intermediate track criteria and subject to a fixed cost regime; a “minority” of clinical negligence claims were expected to meet the criteria.

This consultation makes clear that instead of introducing an intermediate track, the Ministry of Justice are proposing to expand the fast track to include cases that meet the criteria for intermediate cases (Chapter 5, para 1.5 consultation) In addition, the court will have a “residual discretion to allocate any case as an intermediate case, where it is considered advantageous in promoting access to justice” (Chapter 5, para 2.5)

If the fast track is extended in this way and includes a discretion to allocate “any” case as referred to above, then more clinical negligence cases than first envisaged may be caught and subject to a Fixed Costs Regime. The proposal includes four bands of fixed costs where band 4 represents the most complex cases involving serious issues of fact/law. We urge you to read this consultation and respond setting out why clinical negligence cases are not suitable for the fast track.

Closing date: 6th June 2019

Coronial Investigations on Stillbirth

Joint Ministry of Justice and Department of Health and Social Care consultation

This consultation seeks views on proposals for introducing coronial investigations of stillbirth cases in England and Wales.

Closing date: 18th June 2019