Reaction to DH consultation on Rapid Resolution & Redress scheme for brain damaged children

Published: 3 Mar 2017

The Department of Health has published a consultation on plans to introduce a “Rapid Resolution & Redress” scheme for brain damaged children as an alternative to litigation.

AvMA cautiously welcomes the stated intentions of the scheme but believe that the proposals have not yet been fully thought through and do not contain sufficient detail.

We are analysing the proposals and will be discussing our concerns and suggestions further with the Department of Health and others. We will publish a briefing prior to submitting our formal response by the deadline of 26th May.

AvMA chief executive Peter Walsh comments:

“We welcome the stated intentions of the proposals but many questions remain to be answered.

“We seriously question the ethics of funding a scheme from the damages that children who have been brain damaged through NHS negligence need and deserve. On average, each child would lose well over £600,000 of the damages they would receive based on assessed need. On top of this the NHS would save on legal costs that would be incurred if these cases were litigated.

“One has to ask why the NHS can’t investigate these cases properly and offer a prompt settlement without depriving brain injured children of 10% of their damages? They should be doing this anyway.

“If a special scheme is set up, it must be totally independent for people to have confidence in it. There is no detail in the proposals about how so called independent investigators and panellists will be selected and paid or by whom. We seriously question the appropriateness of the NHSLA itself administering such a scheme.

“It is also vitally important that families are empowered in this process and, whilst the proposals make reference to legal advice being available to them, there is no detail about how this will be provided or funded.”