NHS moves to no-fault personal injury compensation system

After an expert review, the Scotland NHS has decided to move to a no-fault personal injury compensation system.

The review group was established by Scotland’s Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, two years ago, in order to examine the efficacy of switching to a no-fault system for personal injury claims.  The group’s recommendations were recently published.

The institution of a no-fault scheme would enable injured patients to receive compensation awards without having to hire a personal injury solicitor and take the NHS to court. Patients would still face the requirement of proving their injuries were caused by the treatment they received at hospital, but the presence of medical negligence would no longer be a requirement.

The review group’s findings indicated that more injury cases would be resolved through the adoption of a no-fault model.  Additionally the review indicated the likelihood of the NHS paying out more in legal fees and compensation under the new system was low.

Ms Sturgeon commented on the recommendations submitted by the expert group.  She commented that delaying redress due to the lengthy compensation claim process is in no one’s best interests.  Additionally, NHS resources could be spent on more important things than expensive legal fees, she added.

A more sensible way to ensure injured patients get the compensation they deserve without years of legal red tape would be to institute no-fault compensation, the Scottish Health Secretary continued.  Ms Sturgeon stated that she was quite encouraged that the report issued by the review group carried the recommendation of instituting such a scheme.

Ms Sturgeon also stated that there were additional steps to be taken before moving forward with adopting no-fault compensation.  This would include thorough analytic research and a cost assessment as well.

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