Law to resolve small negligence claims gets royal assent

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 16 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1038
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. 1BMJ

    Legislation paving the way for a fast track, low cost scheme to resolve clinical negligence claims up to £20 000 (€30 000; $38 000) in England without litigation received royal assent last week.

    Under the new scheme, when something goes wrong with a patient's care, the hospital trust where it happened will do a fact finding exercise. Then the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), which will run the scheme, will determine fault and decide what redress to offer. Compensation will be in line with awards made by the courts. Patients accepting an offer, which could include an apology, will waive their right to take court proceedings, but patients dissatisfied with the offer will still have a right to take civil action.

    The NHS Redress Act passed into law after unsuccessful last minute attempts by Conservative and Liberal Democrat peers to push …

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