Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Repeat prescription

"The current rate of increase in the number of claims for compensation for clinical negligence and referrals to the regulatory bodies is unmatched in the company's 126 year history', wails the annual report of the Medical Defence Union.

The plan to tackle this sort of statistic, which actually represents ruined lives of people who put their trust in an expert?

Well, apparently it's to lobby ministers to cut the cost of damages awards.

This comes hard on the heels of our Supreme Court beginning to consider how we will implement one of the recommendations of the Jackson report that awards be increased by 10% across the board to balance the forthcoming bar on recovery of success fees.

No doubt encouraged by the success of liability insurers it seems the MDU now wants a piece of the action. Presumably they’ll be heading round to Downing Street for beer and sandwiches - or rather tea and cakes.

Head of Claims at the MDU, Jill Harding, denies that clinicians are to blame, explaining that "the increase in claim numbers is not, we believe, driven by deteriorating standards of care'.

Rather, "it seems likely that the continuing availability of no-win, no-fee arrangements to fund cases is a factor'.

Look, it's very simple. There's no fee unless there's a win, and there's only a win if there’s a cock-up.

Yet again we see an unhealthy preoccupation with - rather than eradicating errors - trying to silence and sabotage the victims and their solicitors.

And if you think that's bad, get this. In the same report the head of claims boasts that “the MDU continues to rebut 70% of medical claims notified to us"

Well, give yourselves a big pat on the back, won't you?

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