The Blame Game

The Blame Game

In July of 2014 the NHS Litigation Authority (the body responsible for dealing with claims of clinical negligence) released its annual report. This included statistics relating to the rising number and cost of claims. Many commentators have since suggested that personal injury solicitors are to blame but as is usually the case the reality is rather less straightforward.

Whilst it is the case that the number of claims made have increased year on year for the last 10 years, it would be unfair to blame lawyers for that rise. Certainly the rule changes of April 2013 regarding the way in which lawyers recoup their fees forced many to lodge claims earlier than would otherwise have been the case but another reason for the increase in numbers is a growing awareness among patients, aided by the dissemination of information via social media and television, that if their medical treatment falls below an acceptable standard, then they may have a remedy against the medical practitioner responsible. In addition to this is the response of the NHS to an ageing population and dwindling resources leading, inevitably, to an increase in clinical errors and mismanagement.

At BLB we possess the necessary expertise to ascertain quickly and efficiently whether or not a claim has merit. Those former personal injury solicitors new to this field of practice do not necessarily possess those skills and this often results in unmeritorious claims being lodged and defended by the NHSLA. There are strict pre-action protocols to be followed and any lawyer who fails to follow them correctly will fail to achieve the best outcome for their client and, possibly, face a professional negligence claim.

Anyone with a new claim or dissatisfied with the service they have been receiving from their existing solicitor should contact David Gazzard on 01793 615011.

Image by Lydia under Creative Commons