The MDU reports an increase in negligence claims against GPs
Clinical negligence claims in general are on the increase, but there is a marked rise in cases against family doctors. The biggest increases in medical negligence claims involve a late or wrong diagnosis, followed by a failure to refer patients to a specialist.
Until recently, clinical negligence claims against GPs had been fairly static and the MDU cannot account for the increase in compensation claims now being commenced. Some commentators have suggested the rise may have been contributed to by the widespread availability of no win – no fee agreements offered by solicitors like ourselves. However no win – no fee in clinical negligence cases has been available for many years, so we think this is an unlikely explanation. The downtown in the economic climate is a more likely factor in our view, along with increased patient expectations.
According to the MDU there is no evidence of deterioration in the standards of care within the medical profession, which continues to strive to provide the reliable service that we have come to expect from the profession.
Looking to the future, with the government’s removal of the availability of Legal Aid for clinical negligence compensation claims, fewer cases are expected to be launched. Funding arrangements such as legal expenses insurance and no win – no fee agreements may well be the only way in which patients are able to bring a medical negligence claim. This is a hugely contentious issue as a balance must be struck between a patient’s access to justice and the government’s desire to curb the spiraling cost of settling negligence claims against the NHS.
We strongly believe that victims of serious medical malpractice should have the right to claim the compensation to which they are entitled. With the availability of legal aid being restricted we are dedicated to providing a range of flexible funding options including no win – no fee.
So, if you would like specialist advice on negligence claims against GPs, call us on Freephone 0333 888 0404 for a free, no obligation assessment of your case and the funding options available.