NHS: Negligence:Written question - HL16485

Asked on: 19 June 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Negligence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers’ proposed alternative to the Clinical Negligence Fixed Costs Working Group; and which Ministers are responsible for considering the issue of fixed costs in clinical negligence claims.
Answered on: 02 July 2019

In 2017 the Department consulted on proposals for fixed recoverable costs (FRC) in claims of up to £25,000 damages, for which claimant legal costs are most likely to be disproportionately high relative to damages awarded. The Department published a summary of responses to the consultation in February 2018.

Following the consultation by the Department in 2017 and Sir Rupert Jackson’s recommendation in July 2017 to control the legal costs of these cases, the Department and the Ministry of Justice commissioned the independent Civil Justice Council (CJC) to draw up a new process for clinical negligence claims of up to £25,000 damages, with proposals for FRC for these cases.

The CJC has set up a working party to develop proposals, with input from claimant and defendant solicitors, including the Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers. The Department will consider the CJC’s recommendations when its report is published and will consult on any resulting proposals for FRC for these cases before implementation.

In view of the CJC’s role to lead work on proposals taking account of stakeholder views, the Department has not made its own assessment of the proposals from the Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers.

The Minister of State for Care (Caroline Dinenage MP) is responsible for clinical negligence policy.

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