If the NHSLA made an early admission of liability in cases where it is due, the clinical negligence costs to the NHS would be a lot less. Instead the NHSLA has a habit of stringing cases out until the door of the court and then settling at the last minute, having run up large legal fees on both sides along the way. Presumably they do this in the hope that the injured Claimants will get so worn down by NHSLA’s delays and intransigence that they simply give up. Of course, if the NHS concentrated its efforts on preventing harm to patients in the first place, there would be fewer claims as a result and consequently legal costs would be lower.
The Guardian article sought to paint Claimant clinical negligence Solicitors in a poor light, insinuating that costs were inflated in order to maximise profit. However, in clinical negligence claims it is often the desire to see justice be done, rather than just financial incentive, that motivates Claimants and their representation. There is a real feeling that the NHSLA, sitting comfortably in their glass house, is attempting to throw boulders at those they oppose, and we all know how the saying goes. Let us perhaps hand the NHSLA a mirror for a moment, in order that they can take a long hard look at themselves and specifically the conduct that leads to often hefty Claimant costs.