By Dr Simon Fox
The recent decision by Mrs Justice Yip in Welsh v Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust 2018 EWHC 1917 QB has given some useful further guidance on drafting agendas for experts’ joint meetings. Welsh v Walsall was a bariatric surgery case in which the Claimant claimed negligence in the surgery and post operative management in a gastric bypass operation, resulting in the claimant having to undergo a reversal of the bypass and ileostomy with long term ongoing disability.
At the liability trial (the Claimant won), of the joint statements, Yip J stated – “As I observed during the trial, the joint statements in this case were not as useful as they might have been. The difficulty was caused by the inability of the parties to agree a single agenda for the experts’ consideration. This is not the first time that I have expressed concern about this and counsel confirmed that it is a problem that appears to be arising more frequently. When I enquired as to why that might be, Mr Counsell, having sought instructions, referred to the model direction for clinical negligence actions which provide for the claimant’s solicitors and experts to prepare a draft agenda to be sent to the defendant’s solicitors and experts for comment and for the defendant to then agree the agenda or propose amendments within 21 days”.