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As first seen on Law Society Gazette


Medical negligence cases benefited from pragmatic collaboration by all involved during the pandemic. Politicians intent on reforming the handling of disputes which arise from clinical failings should take note.


When viewed through a political lens, it seems obvious that money spent on legal fees and claims against the NHS is a problem. The £2.2bn bill for 2020/21, of which £433m comprised legal costs, represents ‘a significant burden on the NHS’, according to the government. Neither is the tendency to park the blame at the door of the lawyers involved limited to Conservative lawmakers and commentators. Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee writes confidently of ‘the kinds of firms that urge people to sue the NHS, soliciting online, in TV ads or posters in waiting rooms’.

It does not seem to matter that it takes an act of brazen conflation to lump together claims management companies with the experienced solicitors who act for claimants and defendants in complex medical claims. The analysis that places lawyers at the centre of the NHS’s disputes woes has a huge following in politics and the media.


Disclaimer - all information in this article was correct at time of publishing.