UK's Senior Managers And Certification Regime - All Change On 9 December?
Last week the Medical Defence Union (MDU) unveiled a 6-point reform plan to save the NHS from spiralling medical negligence claims. This trend has nothing to do with deteriorating clinical standards and everything to do with recent legal market developments the MDU believes.
Granted we are in an unusual environment at the moment with a negative discount rate producing unprecedented awards of damages. But kneejerk reactions should be avoided. The MDU’s proposals are idealistic and unworkable. They would strike through decades of legal history and jeopardise the principle that claimants are entitled to full compensation for their injuries.
My view is that careful tweaking of the litigation system and a change of emphasis to promote early mediation would be wholly more effective.
In addition the MDU calls for a reduction in lawyers costs within the medical negligence system. Isn’t NHS Resolution already addressing this with its excellent work to promote mediation of negligence disputes?If parties can conclude claims early they avoid a lengthy, and expensive, litigation process which has such a draining effect on the public purse.
The bottom line is that there are two critical changes which will help stem the rising NHS negligence bill. The first is the NHS improving its learning from mistakes and the second is greater collaboration with claimants when mistakes do occur to allow for swifter case progression and resolution. The rest is but window dressing and misses the wood for the trees.
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