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

Costs reforms "unfair" to injured patients

25 Apr 2022
APIL news

Lawyers vehemently oppose the inclusion of vulnerable patients and people who have died through NHS failures in a new streamlined regime for clinical negligence compensation claims.

In its response to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consultation on a fixed process for lower value claims, with legal costs for each stage, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) set out some grave reservations.

“Subjecting vulnerable injured patients, who lack the capacity to bring their own claims, to this pared down process is unfair and inconsistent,” said APIL executive committee member Suzanne Trask.

“Protected parties are excluded from other low value schemes, such as for road traffic collisions and workplace injuries, because of the complexity of their cases. Additional work is required to help people without the capacity to manage their own claims and it is extremely difficult to anticipate the amount of extra time and work required,” Ms Trask explained.

“And cases where patients have died at the hands of the NHS certainly need more time and greater sensitivity than is afforded by this scheme”.

APIL has also criticised the proposed limits on costs available to pay for representation for injured patients under the new system, and the ethos behind the changes.

“In the main, a streamlined two track approach to clinical negligence cases with a value of up to £25,000 has merit. But the costs have been proposed by the defendants, in a breathtaking display of self-interest, putting unfair restrictions on patients, bereaved families, and their representatives,” said Ms Trask. “The proposed fees need to be looked at again, urgently.”

“In its obsession with the financial cost of clinical negligence to the NHS, the Government repeatedly fails to recognise that the NHS’s negligence is the reason why patients must claim compensation for their injuries. Yet again, any effort to tackle that problem is conspicuously absent from this consultation,” she said.

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Notes to editors:

  • The Department of Health and Social Care consultation Fixed recoverable costs in lower value clinical negligence claims closed on 24 April 2022 https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/fixed-recoverable-costs-in-lower-value-clinical-negligence-claims
  • Find APIL’s full response here: https://apil.org.uk/consultations-and-apil-responses
  • The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is a not-for-profit campaign group which has been committed to injured people for more than 30 years. Our vision is of a society without needless injury but, when people are injured, they receive the justice they need to rebuild their lives.  We have more than 3,200 members who are committed to supporting the association’s aims, and all are signed up to APIL’s code of conduct and consumer charter.  Membership comprises mostly solicitors, along with barristers, legal executives, paralegals and some academics.
  • Direct any queries about this press release to APIL's communications manager Jane Hartwell on t: 07541 490988, e: [email protected].
  • Follow @APIL on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APIL

Past press releases

Doncaster lawyer campaigns for injured people, 18 May 2022
London barrister campaigns for injured people, 12 May 2022
New additions to APIL, 11 May 2022
Proposed NHS scheme ‘completely unacceptable’, 28 Apr 2022
Peers vote for legal aid at inquests, 01 Apr 2022
NI now fairest in UK for people with life-changing injuries, 22 Mar 2022
"Disproportionate" whiplash plans dropped, 22 Mar 2022
New blow for injured patients, 31 Jan 2022

More past press releases

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