In this recent article in The Law Society Gazette the Government is looking at ways it can reduce escalating legal costs for Clinical Negligence cases. Although we understand the need and importance of managing costs we feel that they are approaching the issue from the wrong end. Surely the best way to reduce costs arising from Clinical Negligence would be to improve the medical services and cut down the number of cases that arise. If there were no cases of Clinical Negligence the NHS would save £1.2bn per annum; (unlikely to ever happen) – 22% of that £1.2bn is estimated to be the legal costs of claimants and from our experience this could be significantly reduced if the medical profession accepted responsibility when things go wrong rather than fight – this would cut down on the time we have to spend on the case, reduce the legal bill and give our clients a quicker and more satisfactory outcome.
We will be following this debate very closely over the next few months.