This September the UK Government plans to publish a ‘Cross-Government Strategy’ which will attempt to tackle the costs of Medical Negligence claims in the UK. The Government plan to limit legal damages and cut costs in Medical Negligence claims. This implies that we could see a cap on damages as they attempt to fix the amount which legal firms can recover for their clients. The reduction of the legal costs will be examined and the aspect of ‘full compensation’ will be focused on. However it is clear that such movements may have serious consequences for those patients who have suffered negligent treatment from a health professional.
Health and Justice Ministers were requested to consider a new strategy following reports which discovered that the annual cost of claims totalled £1.6 billion in 2017 and are likely to double by 2020/21 to £3.2 billion. The level of damages are being considered within the new strategy. There are also thoughts to decrease the budget which is allocated for medical negligence claims and their costs. Another aspect the strategy addresses is reforming the Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act 1948 to ensure that damages will no longer be calculated on the basis of private healthcare costs.
Such parties believe that patients who suffer through medical negligence must receive reasonable compensation however argue that it must be balanced against society’s ability to pay and that such money used to fund medical negligence claims cannot then be spent to support frontline care.
Alternatively, Medical Negligence Lawyers favour strategies which place focus on reducing the number of medical errors rather than punishing those who suffer from them. Chloe Sullivan, a Medical Negligence Solicitor at Hodgkinsons commented: “I strongly believe it is unfair to deny full compensation to injured patients and feel that instead, the NHS should be learning from their mistakes to improve their future services. The Government is then likely to see a reduction in Medical Negligence costs as the number of Medical Negligence claims becomes fewer.”
If you think you have been the victim of Medical Negligence we strongly recommend that you contact us before costs become an issue to ensure you receive what you are entitled to. Call 01754 897150 to speak to one of our specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors or alternatively fill in an online form at http://www.hodgkinsons.co.uk/medical-negligence and we will get back to you.