Co-operation and reasonableness will be needed going forward into the brave new world to minimize costs and, at the same time, to achieve justice for injured patients. This is a realistic aim if both sides play their part.
the system needs to be focused on greater efficiency, not just lowering the NHS’s legal bill. This is a subtle but crucial difference. It acknowledges that the cheapest behaviour is not always the most effective. This will help ensure the system is impartial – anchored in good practice not political need – and accepted. An example of this principle in practice would be to allow low-value claims to be excluded from fixed fees based on their complexity. Creating a structure that is too rigid to accept anomalies is not efficient and would indicate an attitude of lower fees no matter what the cost. The point should be made here that naturally lower costs will flow from greater efficiency in any event.