Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Blog: To penalise patients and their families is not the answer

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To penalise patients and their families is not the answer
Suzanne White | 02 Feb 2018

We have continued to argue that to reduce the cost to the NHS and their insurers from negligence, whilst maintaining the rights of the individual, it must start to truly learn the lessons when things go wrong.

Those injured through this type of negligence often meet a wall of silence and in most cases aggressive denial and obstruction from the lawyers acting for the NHS.

This makes it necessary for victims and their families to fight a drawn out legal battle just to get to the truth of what has happened.

Any award of compensation is not a lottery win, it is calculated to the penny.  It provides only for ongoing care and to attempt, in whatever way is possible, to enable the innocent victim to live as independent a life as possible.

We recognise the need to minimise the impact to the NHS, however, the answer is not to penalise injured patients and their families but to face up to mistakes and learn from them.

The NHS would face greater costs if victims were not compensated adequately, whilst insurers would make bigger profits, as the ongoing care costs of those injured would fall on the NHS.

For a fairer more open health system, the leaders of the NHS must stop defending the indefensible and stop these injuries from continuing to happen.

Past blog entries

Accident and negligence: what’s the difference and why does it matter? , 02 Aug 2021
Patient safety problems risk waning public confidence in the NHS , 20 May 2021
Consumers will not benefit from Do-it-Yourself whiplash reforms, 28 Jan 2021
Effects of a change in the discount rate: what happens when a review is expected? , 16 Dec 2020
Three per cent drop in premiums does not reflect massive insurer savings, 09 Nov 2020
What help is out there for families when someone is injured?, 02 Nov 2020
Blindly heading into the unknown for injured people?, 09 Dec 2019
Lessons in looking after one another , 18 Nov 2019

About this blog

Suzanne White

Suzanne White is co-ordinator of APIL's clinical negligence special interest group and a partner at Leigh Day. She has a particular interest in birth injury claims, injuries to mothers during childbirth, orthopaedics, misdiagnosed cancers, GP errors, children and adult fatal cases, and cases involving radiological errors. Suzanne has a medical background having initially trained as a radiographer.