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Response to Department of Health change of policy on fixed costs for clinical negligence claims

Today’s release of the CPRC minutes from 8 July reported that there had been a change in policy at the Department of Health and that they intended to consult in respect of claims up to £25,000 which comprised approximately 60% of medical negligence claims. The material worked up by the subcommittee on a draft Protocol and illustrative rules would be amended accordingly. The date of publication of the consultation was unknown.

Reacting to this, Nina Ali, medical negligence partner at London law firm, Hodge Jones & Allen says: “At first glance this is of course a welcome change of policy. However, unless there is a proper and effective consultation and ultimately acceptance that there are a number of case types that must be made exceptions of, this change of policy and playing with numbers is meaningless. In order to ensure that that some semblance of justice in the absence of legal aid for any case other than a birth injury prevails, exceptions must include, fatal cases, cases with human rights issues, cases that concern the vulnerable in society such as the elderly and people with learning disabilities.”