I have to admit chuckling to myself as I came across this article sensationally entitled 'Yorkshire Medical Botches Cost £150 a Minute'.
There is nothing quite like some creative presentation of statistical data to put the public eye out on its stalk. However scaremongering aside, the article raises important issues over Access to Justice if the proposed Government changes to the compensation system to come into force next year.
In times of austerity Government departments are desperate to cut the tax payer bill wherever they can. However the new proposals will undoubtedly be at the expense of the victims of medical accidents.
I can understand people baulk at the huge figures incurred as legal costs in the press. However there are unavoidable costs involved in investigating a negligence claim. Clinical negligence claims are necessarily complex, frequently involving multiple experts to investigate firstly liability but secondly quantum.
People who suffer the most serious injuries from medical mistakes require comprehensive investigation into their treatment, care, education, accommodation and future needs. These must all be fully investigated.
Transferring some of the costs on to the injured claimants will prohibit many legitimate victims from pursuing claims and this cannot be right.
Iona Meeres-Young is a Senior Clinical & Medical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers.
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