Do Not Forget Human Cost of NHS and Its Lawyers Fighting Valid Claims


Recent revelations that over the past 5 years the NHS has cost the Tax payer a staggering £1.125 bn fighting valid claims by victims of medical blunders which should have been settled is no surprise to Simpson Millar. It is also of no surprise that a significant part of that sum was paid to NHS Lawyers who unlike Claimant lawyers (who are only paid if a case is won) will be paid by the NHS either way.

The Truth of The Matter

"As Claimant lawyers we have been saying for some time now that the spiralling costs of claims brought by victims of medical blunders is a consequence of Defence lawyers adapting a siege mentality to protect Doctors "at all cost" and attempting to defend the indefensible. Instead of investigating why NHS Defence lawyers continue to fight meritorious claims costing millions of pounds to the Tax payer in the process the Government chooses to blame victims of medical blunders and the lawyers fighting for justice on their behalf."

"The Governments response to the situation has been to implement policies which will deny as many victims of medical blunders access to justice as possible and those measures have already included the withdrawal of Legal Aid, (including Legal Aid for injured children) from the majority of medical negligence cases and a staggering increase in Court fees (now £10,000 for some claims!) which has already put access to justice beyond the reach for thousands of UK citizens. The Governments new proposed savings on clinical negligence claims, instead of addressing the problem of NHS lawyers fighting indefensible claims will simply put access to justice beyond reach for many victims of medical negligence which appears to be the Governments true agenda. Capping victims cost to a proportion of their damages will not work whilst the NHS and its lawyers continue to fight claims which should be settled, often over many years"

Human Cost to Victims of Medical Blunders

The lawyer points out that we must not forget the human cost of the siege mentality strategy adopted by the NHS and its lawyers when fighting valid claims.

"Victims of medical blunders will often have suffered devastating and life threatening injuries". "This can result in a complete loss of confidence in the medical profession and they will often be wary of other professionals, including lawyers. Many will already be distressed, angry, grieving the loss of someone close to them or suffering from expectations which have been bitterly disappointed. Many will be vulnerable and have suffered psychological harm as a consequence of such a traumatic event, harm from which they may never recover. By prolonging a claim, by often fighting the indefensible at any cost, the NHS and its lawyers place victims of medical blunders under the most intolerable stress and worry which only serves to compound and worsen any psychological component to the injuries which they have suffered making their situation even worse".

The Government must now Listen to the Truth

"The NHS and its Defence lawyers who fight valid claims which should have been settled must stop complaining about the high cost of litigation when they lose and instead ask themselves why the claim was fought in the first place! The Government must stop attacking victims of hospital blunders and those who fight for justice on their behalf and instead implement measures which will lead to the NHS being more honest, accept mistakes when made and make early admissions of liability when appropriate."

"Only then will the spiralling costs of these claims be brought under control as well as stopping the human cost to victims of medical blunders caused by NHS lawyers fighting valid claims. Why is this government so seemingly unwilling to address these issues and why does it continue to blame the victims and their lawyers? The government must stop attacking those harmed by medical blunders and address the real issues. Why is the NHS and its lawyers fighting indefensible claims and forcing injured and vulnerable victims of medical negligence into litigation? This has to stop!"

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