Clinical negligence claims in Scotland
A leading Scottish lawyer says clinical negligence claims in Scotland are taking far too long to resolve, causing untold misery for the people involved.
Elaine Russell, partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office, says the victims of medical mistakes deserve to have their claims resolved far quicker than is currently the case.
She said that where there is a clear instance of negligence that the NHS must settle cases as quickly as possible in the interest of the victims.
The call came after figures revealed that clinical negligence claims took on average between one and five years across Scotland.
Russell said: “We deal with many clinical negligence claims each year and in most instances they involve people whose lives have been shattered by medical mistakes. They want to move on with their lives, but are also looking for answers as to why it happened and what will be done to prevent it happening again.
“They have already been let down once by the system, it is deeply unfair that they would be forced to revisit the incident through a long-drawn-out legal process.
“The very least they deserve is to have their claims settled as quickly and efficiently as possible so they can carry on with rebuilding their lives.
“In the most serious cases, people have been left dependent on round-the-clock care. Five years – and sometimes longer – is far too long for a case to drag on while the victims are waiting for reassurances that they will be cared for in the long term.“