Yesterday I received an invitation to appear on GMTV live
…. which I declined. At first glance, a chance to respond to the NHSLA claims that the high cost of settling legal claims was diverting funds from patient care, seemed too good a media opportunity to waste. But on reflection, how easy would it be to give an articulate and authoritative response to such a highly charged political issue in just 3 minutes? There are so many reasons why costs have increased over the past few years and it is true that one of these is that the cost of legal fees has risen. But this is by no means the whole story. The lack of continuity of care is one of the main causes of actions in this area, which efficient medical record keeping would do much to improve. There are increasing difficulties with funding such cases, which bring specific costs consequences and, in my experience, the NHS is generally slow to respond to legitimate claims, forcing Claimants to gather expensive expert reports to prove their claims, payable by the NHSLA if it loses and which would be unnecessary if the NHS had investigated the complaint more fully and earlier than it currently tends to do. Grrr….
Jo is a Partner specialising in catastrophic personal injury and clinical negligence claims.