Access to justice

Dictionary definition of justiceWhen something goes wrong and causes harm, we believe it is vital that patients or their families are dealt with fairly and honestly and can get the support, answers and outcomes they are entitled to expect. That is what we mean by “justice”.

All of our experience tells us that what people want most of all after a medical accident is to know the truth and that, if possible, lessons will be learnt to help prevent the same thing happening to someone else.

However, it is also perfectly reasonable to want compensation for harm that has been caused due to negligence, or to see people held to account for gross departures from patient safety or attempting to cover up.

In this section you can read about some of the key barriers to access to justice which we are concerned about, and what we are doing to address them.

The Department of Health & Social Care launched a consultation on 30 January 2017 on proposals to put a cap on the amount of legal costs that can be paid to solicitors representing successful clinical negligence claims. AvMA believes that the rationale given is misguided and the proposal would deny many injured patients and families access to justice and be bad for patient safety.