The Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers (SCIL) represent many of the most experienced and dedicated, specialist Clinical Injury lawyers and law firms in the country.

They have carefully looked at the Government’s proposals with regard to fixed rate costs (FRC) in cases valued up to £25,000. These proposals have come about due to Government and liability insurer concern over the costs incurred by patients of the NHS and other medical providers, who have suffered injury from preventable clinical negligence.

SCIL have rightly pointed out that Clinical Negligence claims at this level:

  • cannot be handled like road traffic or similar personal injury claims
  • are complex, often involving multiple medical experts in various fields
  • are emotionally sensitive for the innocent victims, who sought assistance from the medical provider, but instead suffered preventable injury
  • cannot have costs fixed unless the claims process has been fixed first

SCIL have put forward proposals to both address these issues and reduce the costs payable by the negligent Defendants. These:

  • confirm the NHS’s advertised “Duty of Candour” has not worked as well as hoped
  • make clear that medical providers must learn from their mistakes to reduce similar, preventable, negligent actions injuring future patients
  • suggest a process whereby specialist “Safety Champions” are appointed in each NHS Trust with the authority to ensure this learning process makes swift, permanent patient safety changes to medical practice, when a preventable error is identified
  • suggest a fair, clear, staged and timed legal process for notifying and making claims, once an error has occurred and a patient has been injured
  • confirm that such a claims process will encourage compliance by having suitable sanctions built in, to punish any party not complying with its requirements

SCIL believe their Scheme will ultimately not only reduce the costs of the claims process but will also lower costs by reducing the number of clinical errors which lead to claims in the first place.

The SCIL Scheme is supported by the respected patient protection charity, the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA).

However, injured patients will still need legal expenses protection in order to bring a claim.

ARAG continues to support innocent victims in pursuing their legal rights and is pleased to work with SCIL members and will continue to provide After the Event (ATE) insurance to injured patients to:

  • support the investigation of potential claims
  • protect unsuccessful Claimants from adverse costs in certain circumstances where QOCS protection is not provided e.g. not “beating” Defendant Pt36 Offers

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

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