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Clinical negligence legal aid challenge mounted

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Charity, Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA), has launched a legal battle against the Ministry of Justice. The claim has been brought for judicial review of the government’s decision to scrap legal aid in relation to clinical negligence claims. The charity argues that the decision is irrational and unfair.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said “Victims of clinical negligence may need a lifetime of expensive special care so we are clear they must be able to hold those responsible to account. Victims will still have access to solicitors through ‘no win-no fee’ deals, which the government is reforming. We are making special arrangements so that people will be able to insure themselves against the cost of reports if they lose. Importantly, we are also bringing in a rule that will mean, in most cases, victims will not have to meet the other side’s costs if they lose. Victims will be able to receive legal aid to fund the most serious and complex cases, where a ‘no win-no fee’ agreement is not available, and where the failure to provide funding would breach their human rights.”

The NHS Litigation Authority backs the retention of legal aid in such claims. Arguing against the government’s plans the AvMA claims that it will lead to increased costs for the NHS. Chief executive Peter Walsh commented “some of the most vulnerable people in society injured by negligent treatment at the hands of a state body will be denied access to justice. And the NHS will be deprived of the opportunity of learning from mistakes which are often only recognised because of a legal challenge.”

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Written by Andrew Hodges

October 4, 2011 at 9:48 am

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , , ,

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