Government to publish clinical negligence fixed costs consultation in the new year

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Health Minister Ben Gummer has confirmed that the Government has delayed the launch of its consultation on introducing fixed costs into some clinical negligence claims.

The consultation was expected to be published this month to help Ministers prepare for an October 2016 implementation date. But Litigation Futures has reported that when asked about the consultation in Parliament, Gummer said that it would now take place in the new year.

“The department is working closely with stakeholders to develop the proposal to introduce fixed recoverable costs,” he said in response to the question.

“We have undertaken a pre-consultation exercise with a number of key stakeholders, including representatives of claimant lawyers, and are planning an open public consultation shortly. We welcome views on the proposal from all sectors.

He went on to say that the consultation documentation, along with an impact assessment, would be published in early 2016.

“We are working upon the assumption that there is nothing about fixed recoverable costs regime which will alter the percentage of unmeritorious claims,” he added.

“Any scheme proposed will include consideration of the right incentives to support a fairer and quicker process that provides the improvements to the system whilst maintaining access to justice.”

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Marek Handzel

Marek Handzel is the editor of Claims Magazine. Marek welcomes articles, letters, or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing marek.handzel@barkerbrooks.co.uk