Mediation: An Effective Way to Resolve Medical Negligence Claims

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Mediation is an effective way of settling medical negligence claims against the NHS, according to NHS Resolution.

A new report by NHS Resolution says mediation gives claimants, patients and their families an opportunity to express concerns that wouldn’t be addressed in other forms of dispute resolution.

Mediation was praised for giving injured patients and their families the chance to receive face-to-face explanations and apologies, as well as ensuring time is spent both listening and responding to their concerns.

In other words, it gives patients and their families a voice at an early stage in the litigation process.

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors are highly experienced in working to settle cases in a constructive manner. For a free consultation, get in touch with our Medical Negligence Solicitors. We may be able to manage your case on a No Win, No Fee basis – ask us for details.

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How Successful is Mediation?

74% of mediated cases are settled on the day of mediation, or within 28 days of the mediation date. NHS Resolution data also show a notable increase in the number of mediations taking place in the last few years, as the figure rose from 89 cases in 2017-18 to 397 cases in 2018-19.

Most parties are attending mediation with legal representation, while figures also show the chances of achieving a successful outcome on the day increases when a healthcare professional is also present.

This clearly shows the value of giving patients/claimants the chance to speak directly to the other party and receive direct apologies and/or explanations from their healthcare provider and the individual clinician involved in their care.

Many people are coming away from the mediation process satisfied, the report continued, as NHS Resolution described much of the feedback from participants as “positive and compelling”.

For instance, one person admitted that while they were cynical about it at first, they ended up being “very impressed by the whole process”. Another, meanwhile, praised the mediator for encouraging an “exchange of information which may not have been forthcoming but for his involvement, and without which the claim for compensation may not have settled”.

Ian Cohen, National Head of Personal Injury at Simpson Millar, commented, “I am a firm advocate of mediation and all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Medical Negligence cases, and Personal Injury cases generally.

“There is no doubt that mediation works, but it is only applicable to a relatively small number of the total cases brought against the NHS and healthcare in the private sector.

“Early collaboration between the parties is key, with an understanding of both financial and non-financial remedies that may enable the claim to be brought to a satisfactory conclusion.”

Julienne Vernon, Head of Dispute Resolution and Quality of NHS Resolution, added, “Mediation puts the patient/claimant at the heart of the claim, focusing on concerns which are very often not ‘all about the money’, and would not be possible to address in any other dispute resolution setting.”

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