Law group focuses on medical negligence

THE NEWLY-formed Medical Negligence Defence Solicitors' Group has called for the legal profession to be properly trained in dealing with medical negligence cases.

The proposal was made in a paper put to Lord Woolf by the group, which was founded at the end of last year to represent solicitors acting for defendants in medical negligence litigation.

It calls for improved administration of courts and for a fully implemented code of practice governing pre-action stages, a move to information-swapping and fairer penalties.

It opposes the recommendation that a single expert, jointly instructed, should determine matters of professional negligence and disapproves of medical negligence small claims being resolved without an oral hearing.

The paper recommends that costs should be recoverable against an unsuccessful legally-aided litigant and more widely against the Legal Aid Board.

Janet Sayers, a partner at Kennedys and co-chair of the group, said: “This is the first issue which the group has acted on after our task to respond to Lord Woolf's proposals to form a group to deal with the issues.”