Legal aid to continue for certain clinical negligence cases

  • Posted

Posted 06/03/2012

Families who want to launch clinical negligence cases to claim compensation for brain injuries sustained during birth will continue to receive legal aid.The government has made changes to its amendments to the law and has clarified individuals involved in such cases will still be able to receive help.Liberal Democrat Lord Thomas of Gresford had previously urged the government to reconsider its plans to scrap legal aid help in clinical negligence cases.The Ministry of Justice revealed a raft of changes to the legal aid bill after being criticised from a wide range of parties over its plans.”We also agree that clinical negligence claims in obstetrics cases which result in severe disability must receive legal aid. We have therefore brought forward an amendment which will make this clear in law,” it revealed in a statement, adding where there is a human rights issue, a safety net will remain for further clinical negligence cases.The Conservative Party’s Baroness Eaton had previously told the House of Lords she did not take action due to stress when her own child’s cancer was missed by doctors, BBC News reported.Sandra Patton, who heads the Medical Injury team at Ashtons Legal, comments: “Any concession in this disastrous Bill is welcome but it goes nowhere near far enough in protecting the rights of injured patients, adults and children who suffer devastating and life-changing injuries and will now have their access to justice severely restricted. Why should a distinction be drawn between cases where the injury is suffered during birth and one where the child is say one month or one year old? Why should an adult who is for example paralysed by incompetent medical treatment be denied legal aid? The effect of this Bill will be to stop people pursuing proper cases and that is against every fundamental principle of a fair and just legal system.”


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