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.”