Medical Negligence Claims in Scotland

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By Osian Jones

on Thursday 4 January 2018

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No-Fault Accident Compensation Scheme Scotland

Due to ever increasing clinical negligence claims and their relative cost, the Scottish government reviewed the current litigation system and found it to have a number of shortfalls. The current system was accused of lengthy waiting times, the need to take into account numerous views of different experts and difficulties in funding claims.

The current cost to the NHS in Scotland for medical negligence claims is enormous, calling for the need of protection against losses with a risk-sharing scheme implemented by the Central Legal Office (CLO). The rising cost of negligence claims is attributed to a blame culture that exists between the service provider and user, which is why calls for a no-fault compensation scheme have been issued.

The scheme would seek to develop support for a mutual NHS and encourage positive feedback and learning culture. The Scottish cabinet secretary for health recognises that; anyone harmed as a result of negligent clinical care should have access to compensation, and where appropriate, without the need for lengthy court proceedings.

The scheme would need to comply with current NHS complaints procedures and would need to explore the complexities of a no-fault compensation scheme for Scotland.


Implications of a No-Fault Compensation Scheme for Medical Negligence Scotland

The benefits of such a scheme may include;

  • Greater efficiency, both in terms of time and cost for the NHS
  • Ease of pressure on healthcare professionals
  • A cap on the escalating insurance costs for healthcare professionals
  • A reduction in costs and administrative burdens on the courts.

It is clear that the greatest benefits of a no-fault compensation scheme would be for the Courts, the NHS, and the healthcare professionals they employ, but what of the claimants? Some of the disadvantages outlined by a report for the Scottish government were;

  • Lack of national affordability for such a scheme
  • Much lower compensation payouts for claimants
  • Restricted access to the Courts, potentially infringing human rights laws
  • Lack of apologies and explanations from the people who caused the injury through their negligent actions
  • Avoidable accountability in the medical and institutional realms.

The implications of a no-fault compensation scheme would appear heavily skewed in favour of the NHS, and at a disadvantage to the service users of the NHS; the general population and prospective claimants. Ultimately it appears to be a scheme that would protect the healthcare professionals from liability, reduce pressure on the Courts and the cost of the taxpayer.

Accident Line Direct

At Accident Line Direct, we believe that the current litigation system for medical negligence Scotland, allows for a fairer representation of the claimant, and since the advance of No Win No Fee agreements, it does not incur the heavy legal costs that are currently being claimed. In addition to this, the number of cases that make it to court is very small, with the majority of clinical negligence claims being settled outside of the courtroom.

If you have been subject to clinical negligence in the last three years and would like to seek compensation then call Accident Line Direct for further advice. Hesitance in making a claim may delay the process until a time when a scheme like the no-fault compensation scheme is finally implemented in Scotland, as it already is in New Zealand and various Nordic countries. We believe such a scheme would benefit the defendant and not the claimant, so now is the time to make your claim.

Call us free today for advice on how to start your claims process, or simply call for further information.

0808 1454275

Accident Line Direct can help you begin your potential claim, get in touch today!