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Clinical Negligence Fees to be capped

Clinical Negligence News : 21 July 2015

In cases below £100,000 it is likely that set fees will be put in place.  Between 2013/14 the NHS paid out £259 million in legal fees and although they recovered £74million by challenging some of the claims they have said it was costly and time consuming to do so.

The proposals will be put to a public consultation in the autumn with an express call to ensure lawyers fees reflect the level of compensation paid to the claimants.

The Department of Health quoted a case where the claimant received £11,800 in damages whilst legal fees amounted to £175,000.

However, Lawyers have warned that capping fees could restrict access to justice. Deborah Evans, Chief Executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, said ‘ We’re always concerned about the governments proposals to fix costs because the emphasis is always on cost reduction rather than getting costs right, and it is incredibly important that the fees allowed enable a sufficiently experienced lawyer to investigate the claim properly’

Health Minister, Ben Gummer, said ‘Safe, compassionate care is my upmost priority and to achieve this the NHS must make sure every penny counts’