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Health check

Muiris Lyons tackles the MoJ's clinical negligence reforms

11 April 2011

Cutting the cost of clinical negligence should never be to the detriment of the injured patient. Though there is clear need in today’s financial climate to save money, it should never be at the expense of access to justice for victims of medical errors whose lives have been shattered.

Redress for blunders during treatment is now a growing issue in all jurisdictions in the UK. In England and Wales, the Ministry of Justice has recently announced that it plans to push ahead with its proposals to restrict the operation of conditional fee agreements (CFAs). It has also suggested removing legal aid for clinical negligence claims.

People with the most serious of injuries face being denied access to justice as a result. Some of the most vulnerable members of our society, such as babies who are born with brain damage because of medical mistakes, are among those patients seeking redress from the NHS. In Wales, proposals have been agreed to allow the NHS to investigate its own ...

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