New complaints officers are a “token gesture” says leading clinical negligence lawyer

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Leading clinical negligence lawyer Simon Wilson at Neil Hudgell Law says a recent move, brought in as a result of Lord Jackson’s report, is a “token gesture” which will not achieve its aims of speeding up claims or cutting the costs involved in pursuing cases.

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It is unlikely these new officials will make any difference to the speed at which claims are dealt with and therefore to a reduction in the overall cost.

Leading clinical negligence lawyer Simon Wilson at Neil Hudgell Law says a recent move, brought in as a result of Lord Jackson’s report, is a “token gesture” which will not achieve its aims of speeding up claims or cutting the costs involved in pursuing cases.

The NHSLA, MDU AND MPS* have now all nominated an officer to whom claimant solicitors can report, after the event, serious cases of defendant lawyers failing to address the issues. The move implements Recommendation 29 made by Lord Justice Jackson in his 2009 Review of Civil Litigation Costs and aims to increase the number of clinical negligence claims that settle without the need to issue proceedings.

But Simon Wilson, senior lawyer at Neil Hudgell Law, says the nomination of specific officers will have little impact, especially as they can only be contacted after a problematic case has finally been settled.

Mr Wilson said: “We already report any problems with defendant solicitors to line managers as they arise. It is unlikely these new officials will make any difference to the speed at which claims are dealt with and therefore to a reduction in the overall cost.

“The officials appear to have no power to issue penalties for poor performance. Just asking people to comply after the matter is no good. It’s too late then and the damage is done.”

Mr Wilson, who has specialised in clinical negligence for 14 years, believes it would be far better if bodies such as the NHSLA concentrated on meeting their own protocol deadlines which, he says, are at present rarely met.

Neil Hudgell Law are no-win, no-fee solicitors with offices in Leeds and Hull and which specialise in personal injury claims, medical accidents and professional negligence claims.

Note to Editors
For more information about the Review of Civil Litigation Costs Final Report Implementation of Recommendation 29 http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publications-and-reports/reports/civil/review-of-civil-litigation-costs/civil-litigation-costs-review-recommendation-29

*National Health Service Litigation Authority (NHSLA), the Medical Protection Society (MPS) and the Medical Defence Union (MDU).

Inquiries or interviews please contact Ros Dawson ros (at) rosdawsonmedia (dot) co (dot) uk 07720
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