Commenting on today’s Department of Health consultation response to Introducing Fixed Recoverable Costs in Lower Value Clinical Negligence Claims, Agata Usewicz, head of the medical negligence team at London law firm Hodge Jones & Allen, says:
“It is dispiriting that the NHS’s focus remains on clamping down of “spiralling” clinical negligence costs, when the most obvious way of cutting the costs of clinical negligence is to reduce incidents of harm and therefore the number of negligence claims brought in the first place.
“The Department of Health continues to perpetuate the myth that that is no limit on legal costs. In fact, costs are already tightly controlled, and subject to budgeting and detailed assessments”.
“The response to the consultation makes it clear that access to justice is a real concern to the majority of respondents, something else ignored by Jeremy Hunt’s comments today. If access to justice is to be preserved, fatal claims, still-births, claimants lacking mental or legal capacity and, claims where the client has a very short life expectancy must be exempted from any fixed recoverable cost scheme.”
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