References

Action Against Medical Accidents. Alternatives to litigation. 2021. https://tinyurl.com/exb6wuc6 (accessed 19 October 2021)

Care Quality Commission. CQC tells University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust to make urgent improvements. 2021. https://tinyurl.com/5dr92j2v (accessed 19 October 2021)

Clinical negligence reforms imminent as Hunt lambasts ‘obscene’ costs. 2021. https://tinyurl.com/56khwfvk (accessed 19 October 2021)

Morecambe Bay maternity unit labelled ‘inadequate’ after drop in care standards. 2021. https://tinyurl.com/zhe3797c (accessed 19 October 2021)

Medical Defence Union. Healthcare leaders call for action on clinical negligence claims costs to aid NHS pandemic recovery. 2021. https://tinyurl.com/5veynutd (accessed 19 October 2021)

Medical Protection Society. The rising cost of clinical negligence: who pays the price?. 2017. https://tinyurl.com/3s3thrrm (accessed 19 October 2021)

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Balancing the books or balancing the scales: what should drive reforms?

28 October 2021
6 min read
Volume 30 · Issue 19

Abstract

John Tingle, Lecturer in Law, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, considers the two opposing viewpoints on the need for change in the clinical negligence litigation system

 

In discussing clinical negligence litigation in England it seems there are two opposing views on what is going on and the need for reform. On the one side we have the doctors' defence organisations arguing for urgent reform to stem the tide of clinical negligence litigation and reduce the costs associated with this (‘Camp 1’).

On the other, we find those warning that any reforms must not interfere with the patient's inalienable right to access justice and to receive just compensation for negligently inflicted injury (‘Camp 2’).

The Medical Protection Society (MPS) (2017), when discussing the increasing costs of clinical negligence claims, states:

‘To pay for this, the NHS is diverting a significant amount of its funding away from front-line patient care towards claims. At a time when the NHS is facing tough financial pressures and must make difficult decisions about how it allocates its limited and precious resources, there is an urgent need to review the money spent on compensation for clinical negligence. Finally, we are also concerned about the impact the fear of being sued is having on dentists and doctors' health and wellbeing and the way that they practise.’

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