This was the headline in the Times paper on 17/10/16 but what does this mean in reality for medical negligence cases?
Parents of babies harmed by the NHS during labour have been promised faster compensation pay-outs without the need to go to Court. Such cases will automatically be investigated and a pay-out made even if negligence is not proven. The Health Secretary – Jeremy Hunt – believes this will discourage hospitals hiding mistakes for the fear of legal action.
The fact that he recognises that hospitals “hide” mistakes is of grave concern. Having been a medical negligence specialist for many years it is no longer a surprise to me when records go missing, documents are changed or we are met with a wall of silence when making enquiries. However, Solicitors and patients are encouraged to inform the NHS as soon as possible that a claim is imminent. But the concern of the Solicitor and the patient, quite rightly it would seem, is that this allows the NHS time to “hide” information, or change it.
It has also recently been reported that in other Medical Negligence cases the NHS settles 70% of them only after Court proceedings have been issued. This highlights the belligerence of the NHS when dealing with Claims. It can take years, a lot of expense and a lot of heartache for the victim to get a claim to a stage whereby you are ready to issue Court Proceedings. It is a big decision for a Claimant to make, to take on the NHS in the hope that they win. Many don’t want to prolong the heartache any further and believe that the NHS would have “owned up by now if they had done something wrong” but this has proven not to be the case.
It would seem that admitting that they have done wrong only becomes necessary when faced with Court action. This is why people need Solicitors advice, expertise, support and experience dealing with the NHS. It is foolish to use a Solicitor that is not experienced in such an area. It would be like using a plumber to plaster your walls.
So if you think you, or someone you know, may have suffered at the hands of the NHS, a Doctor, Dentist or any other medical professional then get in touch with the Experts!
Call 0800 0190 324 and speak with Alisha Butler-Ward or email: firstname.lastname@example.org