At the beginning of the outbreak of Covid-19 there were calls by some medical defence organisations for doctors not to face liability for negligence occurring during the pandemic. This approach has been adopted by some States in the USA however it has not garnered much endorsement and in response to this, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) commissioned YouGov to undertake research on the topic of Covid and clinical negligence claims.
The results confirmed that there is strong public support for the principle that those injured by the NHS should be compensated by the NHS and that the standard of safety should not change. In fact, the level of public support for compensation has increased and few support the proposal that compensation should not be available during the pandemic.
The most recent information from one particular defence union for doctors and GPs (not including hospitals) is that they have received over 2,500 complaints and notifications of adverse incidents. Some of these have been accelerated to the GMC to investigate.
Unfortunately unacceptable and substandard treatment is still occurring irrespective of the pandemic and any patient injured as a result of such treatment should be appropriately compensated. Claims are continuing to be handled and commenced and we would advise anyone contemplating bringing a claim not to delay contacting a specialist solicitor for advice.
Ashleigh Holt – January 2021