On the 15 September 2023, the Government published its response to the consultation on fixed recoverable costs for low value clinical negligence cases.
APIL president Jonathan Scarsbrook said:
“The Government intends to rush through these plans with little more than six months’ notice, without properly heeding the many warnings from patient representatives that the proposals will impede access to justice for many injured patients.
While a predictable process with predictable costs could have merit, fixing the costs half-way between that suggested by defendants and that of claimant representatives disregards the experience and expertise of the professionals who will actually carry out the work. Getting the costs wrong puts unfair restrictions on patients, bereaved families, and their representatives.
All cases in which patients have died at the hands of the NHS need more time and greater sensitivity than is afforded by this scheme. It is disappointing, to say the least, that this has not been observed and the Government has chosen not to exclude all fatal cases.
Furthermore, subjecting vulnerable injured patients, whose cases have added complexities, to this pared down process is unfair and inconsistent. To try to strike a compromise with a bolt-on of costs is not good enough. Protected parties are excluded from other low value schemes for good reason.”