The Department of Health has this week announced its intention to introduce a limit on the amount which lawyers representing the victims of clinical negligence can claim for their work against the NHS.

In an attempt to reduce the amount that the NHS spends each year on compensating victims of clinical negligence, the Department of Health intends to fix the costs that solicitors can recover for pursuing claims where the compensation to the victim is between £1,000 and £25,000.

A consultation document has been issued to gather responses to these proposals.

The proposal of fixed recoverable costs has been generating heated debate for some time. Catherine Dixon, the former chief executive of the Law Society observed last year that, “Even with this lower limit, patients harmed in hospital could be denied the compensation they are entitled to if fixed recoverable costs are introduced for complex clinical negligence cases….There is a serious risk that those most affected would be the vulnerable in society, such as the elderly and people who are disabled, whose cases can be complex and challenging but not necessarily the highest in value.”

Adding his voice to the discussion, Nigel Poole Q.C. commented in his blog this week that “these proposals will have a further significant impact on bereaved families. They will restrict even further the ability of families of those who have died as a result of clinical negligence to hold those responsible to account.”

He further explained that, as things currently stand, if a claimant’s case against the NHS is successful, the costs that their lawyers can recover are already expected to be ‘reasonable’ and have to be agreed, either with the NHS or with a court, where agreement with the NHS has proved problematic.

Talk to a solicitor

If you would like to talk to a solicitor about making a medical negligence claim, please get in touch with us at Glynns Solicitors.

Please call us on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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